26
Suicide and Rights

Margaret Pabst Battin

Claims that suicide is wrong because life is of intrinsic value, or because suicide harms others, or because permissible attitudes toward suicide may lead to coercion and abuse, are opposed by the view that a person nevertheless has the right to end his or her life if he or she so chooses, and that this right overrides other objections to suicide. Furthermore, the person's right to suicide precludes paternalistic intervention if that would impede the exercise of this right. In this chapter we shall consider the philosophical view that suicide is a matter of right.

There are two things that we should notice about this view. First, to say that the right to suicide overrides other objections to suicide does not show these objections to be erroneous or unfounded. For instance, to say that the right to suicide overrides the inherent value of human life is not to say that human life is not of value—it may be of great value, great enough so that one person may not destroy another's life; it may be only to say that the value of human life is not so great that one may not bring one's own life to an end. Similarly, to say that the right to suicide overrides objections that may be made on grounds of harms to others is not to say that such harms do not occur or should not be noticed. And to say that the right to suicide overrides the risk of abuse and manipulation is not to say that these risks are not real but only that we ought not compromise the choices of some individuals in order to protect others.

Second, under the more common versions of the view that suicide is a right, it is said to be a right held by all persons. Many ethical theorists, even of nonlibertarian stripe, grant that persons whose lives are hopelessly blighted by intolerable, incurable illness or pain have a right to end their lives; under the view to be

____________________
From Ethical Issues in Suicide by Margaret Pabst Battin, © 1995. Reprinted by permission of Prentice‐ Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J.This is an abridged version of the original chapter.

-283-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Suicide: Right or Wrong?
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 335

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.