Altruism Towards the End of Life
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1993 Jun; 19(2): 111-113.
In the author's experience most normal healthy adults would like to have the choice of medical help to die if they become incurably ill and find their suffering intolerable. The reasons for this are explored, based on ten years of listening and talking about the subject to a wide variety of people in many countries. The most familiar and common are the avoidance of futile suffering and the desire to retain autonomy. This paper concentrates on the dislike of losing independence and its closely associated wish to continue to behave altruistically. Some reasons for the general lack of recognition of the last two are suggested.
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