Euthanasia and Eudaimonia
Shaw, David M.
Journal of Medical Ethics 2009 September; 35(9): 530-533
This paper re-evaluates euthanasia and assisted suicide from the perspective of eudaimonia, the ancient Greek conception of happiness across one's whole life. It is argued that one cannot be said to have fully flourished or had a truly happy life if one's death is preceded by a period of unbearable pain or suffering that one cannot avoid without assistance in ending one's life. While death is to be accepted as part of life, it should not be left to nature to dictate the way we die, and it is fundamentally unjust to grant people liberal latitude in how they live their lives while granting them little control over the conclusion of their life narratives. Three objections to this position are considered and rejected; the paper also offers an explanation of why we think killing can be a benefit. Ultimately, euthanasia may be necessary in some cases in order to achieve eudaimonia.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Shaw, David (2007-09)
Shaw, A. B. (2002-04)The validity of the double effect doctrine is examined in euthanasia and abortion. In these two situations killing is a method of treatment. It is argued that the doctrine cannot apply to the care of the dying. Firstly, ...
Tackling Socially Determined Dental Inequalities: Ethical Aspects of Childsmile, the National Child Oral Health Demonstration Programme in Scotland Shaw, David; Macpherson, Lorna; Conway, David (2009-02)Many ethical issues are posed by public health interventions. Although abstract theorizing about these issues can be useful, it is the application of ethical theory to real cases which will ultimately be of benefit in ...