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Keywords

Kant, Kantian ethics, ethics, euthanasia, dementia

Abstract

Many believe that Immanuel Kant would oppose suicide in every circumstance. However, the intricacies of Kantian ethics may lead to the surprising conclusion that some individuals have the moral obligation to take their own lives. In this paper, I will employ Kantian reasoning to argue that patients approaching extreme dementia have the moral obligation to commit suicide before they lose their rationality and personhood. I will then argue that logically, it follows that physicians should administer euthanasia to patients with severe dementia who have lost their ability to freely choose suicide.

Editor's Note

Every year, each student in bioethics classes at Cedarville University must write at least one paper endorsing a position with which the student does not personally agree. This difficult assignment is a way to better understand a variety of viewpoints, and helps the student to develop a sense of respect for the moral integrity of others. This paper is an excellent example: it represents a position that is actually contrary to the author’s personal view and that of his professor.

DOI

10.15385/jce.2012.12.1.1

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Disclaimer

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