Volume 42, Issue 6 (November 1997)
Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Doctrine of Double Effect
In this paper, I try to show how the clash between two different types of ethical theory—consequentialist and nonconsequentialist—affects moral and legal arguments for physician assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia (E). I begin by presenting a three-step argument for the permissibility of PAS and E, and then examine two possible criticisms of this argument. In conclusion, I consider how the possible further consequences of permitting PAS are dealt with by proponents of the two ethical theories.