Community Relate to the Problem of Suicide? Essay

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¶ … community relate to the problem of suicide? Should there be any legal constraints at all?

Suicide is illegal in the United States, and in that sense, it is a problem because thousands of people commit suicide every year. However, it is not clear why suicide is necessarily immoral or why it should be a crime, especially in cases involving those who are suffering from terminal disease, intractable pain, or for whom life has lost all quality or meaning. On the other hand, there may be good reasons why certain legal constraints should apply, such as in connection with soliciting assistance from others or assisting others.

Ethical Problem Presented

The principal ethical problem presented is that to justify legal prohibition, the state should be able to articulate some objective rationale for interfering with the autonomous choices of mentally competent people. Naturally, the state has an interest in preventing people from committing suicide in ways that could cause harm to others. The state also has a rationale for prohibiting assisting others in committing suicide, although, arguably, not in all types of cases and circumstances. In the U.S., the fact that the prohibition of suicide has roots in religious beliefs is an important issue, because, in principle, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits any religious basis for secular law (Dershowitz, 2002; Humphry, 2010).

Ethical Theories and Ethical Principles

Deontological ethics would support permitting suicide because it can be framed as a moral rule, such as rule that nobody has a justification for interfering with the private decision of another competent person to determine whether or not his life is worth continuing, from his point-of-view. According to Deontological ethics, an appropriate moral rule might be that no person should be required to live longer than he wants to as long as he is mentally competent to make that decision and as long as he does not harm or put anybody else at risk in the process (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). Virtue ethics would… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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APA Format

Community Relate to the Problem of Suicide?.  (2013, April 8).  Retrieved January 22, 2020, from

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"Community Relate to the Problem of Suicide?."  8 April 2013.  Web.  22 January 2020. <>.

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"Community Relate to the Problem of Suicide?."  April 8, 2013.  Accessed January 22, 2020.