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Why I Am Not Pro-Suicide

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In the essays that comprise this project, I have been arguing in favor of a general right to suicide, including access to comfortable, effective means of suicide. I am not, however, “pro-suicide” – any more than those that favor reproductive rights are “pro-abortion.” In fact, I have articulated a specifically anti-suicide position in the case of people who have voluntarily reproduced, leaving open the possibility of other cases.

I am not pro-suicide, in the sense that I do not see suicide as a particularly preferable decision, for the same reason that I am not anti-suicide: I believe that each person must be allowed to act on his or her own values, so long as he does not violate the rights of others. I am definitely in favor of kindness and altruism, but I feel that it is neither kind nor altruistic to force a person to stay alive against his wishes. Neither do I think it is kind or altruistic to encourage a person to commit suicide when suicide does not accord with his values.

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Written by Sister Y

June 2, 2008 at 8:32 am