Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia: Why the Difference in Attitude?
Nursing Ethics. 1995 Jun; 2(2): 161-170.
It appears that the attitudes of health professionals differ towards suicide and voluntary active euthanasia. An acceptance of, if not an agreement with, voluntary active euthanasia exists, while there is a general consensus that suicide should be prevented. This paper searches for a working definition of suicide, to discover ethical reasons for the negative value that suicide assumes, and also to provide a term of reference when comparing suicide with euthanasia. On arriving at a working definition of suicide, it is compared with voluntary active euthanasia. An analysis of utilitarian and deontological considerations is provided and proves to be inconclusive with respect to the ethical principles informing the attitudes of professionals. Therefore, a search for other influences is attempted; this indicates that psychological influences inform attitudes to a greater degree than ethical principles.
Active Euthanasia; Attitudes; Autonomy; Coercion; Comparative Studies; Consensus; Ethical Theory; Euthanasia; Health; Health Personnel; Intention; Killing; Morality; Motivation; Palliative Care; Professional Role; Psychology; Religion; State Interest; Suicide; Terminally Ill; Terminology; Wedge Argument;
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