The Ethical Issue Of Physician Assisted Suicide

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In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle establishes that “every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim” and explains this through the dialectic of disposition, particularly between vice and virtue. In chapter four, Aristotle affirms that since “all knowledge and every pursuit aims at some good”, we inherently seek the highest form which is known to both the masses and the educated as happiness through both living and acting well . Thus regardless of whether man is inherently evil or good, we aspire for the highest form of happiness. Through the implications and discourse of vice and virtue, this paper explores the relevance of Aristotle’s moral philosophy in modern day and will be applied to the contemporary ethical issue surrounding physician assisted suicide. By exploring Aristotle’s work through primary and secondary sources, this paper will discuss the greater good and happiness as it relates to not only the patient or physician, but as a member of a greater social circle and that of society because to Aristotle the role of the individual is less important than their social obligations and role. This paper aims to use the rationale of natural law and of Aristotle to explore the prospects of physician assisted suicide as for the greater good and as a modern ethical obligation.

Gorsuch, Neil M.. “Future of Assisted Suicide and

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