The Law Does Not Expressly Permit Suicide Essay

The Law Does Not Expressly Permit Suicide Essay

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In the quotation above, “the law does not expressly permit suicide” he speaks of several conditions: just and unjust, accordance with virtue, the state, and habituation. With regards to justice, he illustrates the difference between just and unjust as a condition of following a law that is in accordance with virtue. He makes particular reference to the state and the role of the state where the state prescribes laws that allow us to live in accordance with virtue and the right rule of life. Furthermore, Aristotle viewed suicide not so much as a question of morality, but rather as action of injustice towards the state On habituation, he acknowledges that a person who decides to act unjustly and in violation of the law is not bad all around, nor can he be described with the characteristics of wickedness, as it is a single act. When considering the implications these have on physician assisted suicide, it is important to differentiate between justice of the soul and justice of the state. Anyone can suffer voluntarily, but no one can be voluntarily treated unjustly. This is why the state can punish suicide, because although a person can subject themselves to death, in doing so they are treating the state an injustice. By saying this, Aristotle is creating a dichotomy in the right to life; an individual’s right to chose the time and ending of their own life vs. an individual’s obligation to society and its structure. Aristotle speaks to the later argument, which is not surprising considering he views humans as social beings that depend one another.
Author Neil Gorsuch wrote a book on the future of assisted suicide and euthanasia that describes the complicated philosophical and legal implications of the legalization of physician assiste...

... middle of paper ... or DNR’s that act as a guide for navigating a person’s death. A person has the right to refuse medical intervention which in turn would lead to their death, but they cannot ask for death to be delivered. We have allowed law and society to evolve to a place where a person can be taken off of life support, which effectively ends the patient’s life, but it is still considered unethical to assist in suicide of a person who will inevitably end up a victim to their terminal disease; why is there such a discrepancy. If we are taking the contemporary ethical stance that all life has value, then all life should be fought for equally. But it is apparent that it isn’t. By ascribing this duty of physician assisted suicide to the state, this removes the individual concepts of right and wrong as it would then be in accordance with the law and the virtue prescribed by those laws.

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