• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Give an account of the ethical arguments in support of suicide.

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked Give an account of the ethical arguments in support of suicide. [35] In a broad sense suicide can be defined as, ?the act of intentionally ending your life.? However, there are many different types of suicide. Durkheim identified four kinds: egoistic suicide, which is the result of feeling one?s life is meaningless; altruistic suicide, the act of giving one?s life for the greater good; anomic suicide, the result of a major social change that disrupts a person?s sense of order; and fatalistic suicide, the results of excessive regulation, when one?s future is pitilessly blocked by oppressive discipline, such as in a prison or dictatorship. ...read more.


Suicide could be justified if one fell victim to severe pain or disease, but otherwise suicide would usually be seen as a rejection of one's social duty. Furthermore, Hume was another writer who believed that suicide could be ethically justified. He wrote, ?a man who retires from life does no harm to society: he only ceases to do good.? David Hume was attempting to refute the idea that suicide was a sin against God. Hume argues that suicide is no more a rebellion against God than is saving the life of someone who would otherwise die, or changing the position of anything in one's surroundings. ...read more.


Freud claimed that we all have a death drive and that our ego may not be able to cope with negative experiences such as guilt and we may self-destruct. In terms of morality, suicide is not an act of free will, and therefore the person that takes their own life cannot be held responsible for their actions. Furthermore, altruistic suicide could be a courageous and selfless act, in line with both utilitarianism and situation ethics. For example, falling on a grenade refers to the deliberate act of using one's body to cover a live time-fused hand grenade, absorbing the explosion and fragmentation in an effort to save the lives of others nearby. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. RE euthanasia for and against

    This case from a practical point of view supports euthanasia as it shows that the doctor's time and government's money can be used elsewhere where it can actually be of a benefit. PATIENT CHOICE vs. DOCTOR RESPONSIBILITY The patient has the right to make a choice whether or not they

  2. Explain religious and ethical arguments in favour of Euthanasia

    Christians also argue that God has pre-planned our lives, so to end a life prematurely would be to interfere with this plan, "before I formed you, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart". However, this conflicts with ideas of God's omniscience, as he would have known whether or not a foetus is destined to be aborted.

  1. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    However, Wilson puts forth two requirements for cloning: the family to which the child will be born must be a two parent, heterosexual family and the actual birthing process must take place. The first stipulation excludes the possibility for a single mother to give birth to her clone; likewise, Wilson fears the use of cloning for homosexuals.

  2. Consider the arguments for and against paid organ donation.

    would surely be enough compensation for the donor and money would have little effect on their motivation for donation. If the moral rights and duties framework is followed here, if people have the right to receive an organ when they need one and a suitable organ is available, then they

  1. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    Nor (if they permit preventive killing) could they distinguish killing a few poor people to save many rich people, or the sacrifice of the healthy for the terminally ill, the joyous for the suicidal, mothers for children, embryos, or zygotes, and so on, although again most would find these cases very different.

  2. Compare Mill and Kant's ethical theories; which makes a better societal order?

    The categorical imperative is the basis of morality and was stated by Kant in these words: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law." Therefore, before proceeding to act, you must decide what rule you would be following if you

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work