Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 06, 2013

bioethics-depression-suicide-euthanasia-truth-frequency-radio-chris-geo-sheree-geo-alternative-media-news-informationby Xavier Symons, Bioedge

Several academics are arguing for euthanasia for those ‘weary of life’. Recent articles in the Journal of Medical Ethics push for law reform to be consistent in our ethical reasoning.

The authors – including bioethicists Julian Savulescu and Jukka Varelius – suggest that euthanasia is ultimately justified by existential suffering – a despair in life – and not some kind of physical illness. As existential suffering can come in many forms, be it a ‘diagnosable’ illness or non-medical despair, it should be permitted for those who, though not ill, have lost hope and have no prospect of regaining meaning in their lives.

Varelius – who does not go as far as Savulescu in calling for new legislation – identifies existential suffering as the key factor in requests for euthanasia. He considers the example of a distressed car accident victim:

“[We need to ask] whether the suffering of this particular patient is severe enough to make his life not worth living and whether there is significant hope that he after all could recover to live at least a tolerable life. Addressing these questions involves considering existential issues relating to the value of the kind of life this patient can live and the question of what degree of hope ought to be deemed significant enough.”

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