Death and Compassion: A Virtue-based Approach to Euthanasia
The aim of this work is to provide a critique of principle-based ethical systems within the context of modern medicine, focusing specifically on end-of-life decisions. In an attempt to transcend the shortcomings of both utilitarian and deonotological ethical theories, the author argues for an incorporation of the virtues in medical practice, drawing from and developing Aristotle's teleological account of the virtues. Three questions concerning the morality of euthanasia are raised, each invoking a typical feature of human suffering, which leads to an analysis of a moral virtue that addresses each of these features of suffering.
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A Historical Perspective
Euthanasia and the PrincipleBased Ethic
Compassion and Reason
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accept action allow approach argues argument Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle's assisted suicide attempt basis beliefs character Christian circumstances compassion compassionate competence conception concern condition consequences considered death decision decision-making dependency develop dignity disease doctor duty dying emotional English Patient fact favour feeling follows Gerassim goals of medical happiness harm Hippocratic human illness imperfect duty incompetent individual infant infanticide informed consent involves Ivan Ilyich judgement Kant Kant's Kantian killing lack life-sustaining treatment live means medical ethics medical practice medicine Mill modern moral motive nature Neoptolemus Nietzsche non-maleficence objection obligation one's passive euthanasia patient autonomy person Philoctetes phronesis physician physician-assisted suicide pity Plato possible principle of beneficence principle of respect principle-based ethic question rational reason refuse regard rejected requires respect for patient responsible benevolence role rules scientific someone specific suicide understanding universalisability utilitarian values virtue ethics virtue-based virtuous voluntary euthanasia wishes wrong