Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

20 January 2015

The Right to Die: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on the right to die. The question was:

Should a person who does not wish to live be forcibly prevented from committing suicide? John doesn't like living. He finds no joy in life, and only lives because it would upset other people if he ended his life. He has tried counseling and medication, but he simply has no desire to continue to live. He makes no real contribution to society, nor does he wish to be a part of society. If John wants to die, he can, but the state will attempt to stop him at every turn, even to the point of incarceration. Is there a point when the law (and other people) should simply respect his wishes and allow him to end his life – or perhaps even assist him in doing so?

My Answer, In Brief: A person's right to his own life includes the right to commit suicide. The law's sole job is to ensure that a person's choice to die reflects his considered judgment, freely made, as well as to differentiate between helpers and murderers.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Assisted Suicide, Crime, Death, Government, Law, Rights, Suicide

Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on the right to die, marriage without love, creating art, and more – is available here: Episode of 18 January 2015.

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