Chapter

The Graceful Exit

Norvin Richards

in The Ethics of Parenthood

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731749
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866311 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731749.003.0013
The Graceful Exit

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This chapter concerns whether there are sacrifices that parents should not allow their grown children to make for their sake, even if the children want to make them. It argues against John Hardwig's contention that there is a duty to die rather than be too costly to one's children. It grants that declining to die when remaining alive is highly costly to the child can be described as selfish, but argues that selfishness need not be objectionable at all if it occurs within the kinds of relationships that we have in mind when we speak of loved ones making sacrifices for one another. It also explores when a person ought not to incur a debt of gratitude, even to a loved one.

Keywords: parents; children; grown children; duty to die; John Hardwig; selfishness; love; sacrifice; debts of gratitude

Chapter.  7488 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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