PHI 337 Moral and Ethical Implications of Suicide

PHI 337 Moral and Ethical Implications of Suicide - Moral...

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Moral and Ethical Implications of Suicide
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Out of all the many discussed topics these days, suicide is one of the oldest ones debated. The debate that people argue over is whether suicide is morally right. There seems to be two sides to this ongoing debate: one side says that suicide is always immoral and the other side, which is more liberal, that says suicide is sometimes morally acceptable. The one problem that exists is the true definition of suicide. The standard definition of suicide is the intentional termination of one’s own life. This can be further explained with examples. The text uses six examples, three of which are best for this explanation. The first of which is an elderly man who overdoses on sleeping pills and leaves a note explaining his reasons which are normal occurrences of life. The man is presumably in good health and not suffering from any terminal illness. This action undoubtedly hurts the people he left behind. They have to suffer the pain of loss and grieve his passing because of his actions. Another example used in the book is the truck driver who steers his runaway truck into a concrete abutment to avoid hitting a school bus with children. This action, in my opinion, while of course leaving his loved ones with the grief of his death, is heroic and unintentional. The truck driver’s action was unintentional because if he had not steered out of the way he would have hit the school bus and lost his life from the collision as well as the lives of the children aboard. The last example from the book is the Jehovah’s Witness who refuses a life saving blood transfusion, for religious reasons. 1
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I picked those three examples because they touch on three specific reasons for committing suicide. Those three are intentional, unintentional and religion based suicides. While there are more reasons for suicide, such as a terminally ill patient
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHI 337 taught by Professor Laux during the Fall '06 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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PHI 337 Moral and Ethical Implications of Suicide - Moral...

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