The 's Death And Death Caused By Immanuel Kant

Decent Essays
In April of 2014, Brittany Maynard’s life was shattered. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called a glioblastoma, and the chances of her surviving were practically nonexistent. Instead of prolonging her life for as long as possible, she decided to move to Oregon to take advantage of its aid-in-dying law. After her health began to deteriorate rapidly, Brittany swallowed a large quantity of the sedative pentobarbital, which had been prescribed to her by a physician. She passed away shortly afterwards, surrounded by her family and friends. She was not quite thirty years old (“The Brittany Fund”). Brittany’s death caused an enormous controversy. Some people said that she had the right to end her life, while others…show more content…
In this way, allowing yourself to die could be considered using oneself as a means to an end – the ultimate end, as a matter of fact. He also stated that allowing suicide could never be considered a universal law, and would thus violate his famous categorical imperative. As he puts it, “It is then seen at once that a nature whose law it would be to destroy life itself and by means of the same feeling whose destination is to impel toward the furtherance of life would contradict itself…” (Shafer-Landau 94-95) In other words, no law can simultaneously state that life is good and that ending life is good. Using these premises, Kant would say that Brittany’s suicide was immoral. Both of these arguments are reasonable, but are there any proclamations Kant made that contradict these statements? Equally importantly, how applicable are they in the case of Brittany Maynard? According to Iain Brassington, Kant’s categorical imperative does not apply to euthanasia, aid-in-dying, or any end-of-life issue. He states that if the categorical imperative applied here – if there really was a contradiction in the natural laws of the universe whenever someone decided to commit suicide – then it would be exceedingly difficult to do. As he puts it, “The currency of impermissibility rests on possibility. If suicide is possible, then either it must be compatible with the laws of nature that
Get Access