Euthanasia and the Moral Status of Human Beings

Mary Anne Warren

in Moral Status

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250401
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681295 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

Euthanasia and the Moral Status of Human Beings

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This chapter explores the moral permissibility of euthanasia, under various controversial circumstances. It begins by distinguishing several forms of euthanasia. It argues that the human right to life is consistent in some cases with a decision to hasten or not to delay one's own death, or that of another human being. It also argues that there are cases in which the moral right to life does not fully obtain, because the individual has suffered either whole-brain death or irreversible brain damage that precludes any future return to consciousness. In these cases, the Transitivity of Respect principle assumes a more central role in shaping our moral obligations.

Keywords: moral status; euthanasia; assisted suicide; moral rights; human rights; Transitivity of Respect principle

Chapter.  6001 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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