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Title: Does a right to die exist?
Authors: Abela Fiorentino, Stephanie
Keywords: Life -- Moral and ethical aspects
Death -- Moral and ethical aspects
Suffering -- Moral and ethical aspects
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The claim of whether a right to die exists has been a debate in philosophy, religion, and courts since the era of Ancient Greece. Due to advancements that have been made in the field of medicine, attitudes towards end-of-life care have increased in complexity. A question central to the discussion on end-of-life care is whether a right to die exists, and answering this question shall be the aim of this dissertation. The first chapter shall introduce the subject by giving an historical insight into the right to die, which shall then be followed by a presentation of the current practices in the European Union, Switzerland, United States of America, and South Africa. Relevant court cases and legal documents shall be discussed. The second chapter of this dissertation shall be a discussion which favours the existence of a right to die. This chapter shall be divided along the lines of a discussion of principles which are used to promote a right to die – autonomy, right to privacy, quality of life, dignity and suffering. These shall be presented from utilitarian and deontological viewpoints. A brief perspective on the psychological effects of right to die practices shall also be presented. The third chapter shall present counter-arguments to those afore mentioned, to identify why a right to die cannot exist on these respective principles. The chapter shall begin by discussing the right to life, while including relevant court cases and legal documents. The second section of the third chapter shall argue how the principles presented in the second chapter cannot be used to claim a right to die. This chapter shall also include a section on sanctity of human life, extending from the principle of human dignity, and shall also discuss psychological effects experienced by physicians who participate in assisted suicide, and conclude with a discussion of the ―slippery slope‖ argument. The conclusion of this dissertation shall present a summary of the main findings of the dissertation, whilst asserting that a right to die cannot exist.
Description: M.A.BIOETHICS
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacThe - 2016
Dissertations - FacTheMT - 2016

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