Suicide as a violation of a duty of virtue

José N. Heck


The human ways of dying are nowadays a theme of bioethics. Bioethics reacts to a technological civilization that absorbs the natural occurrence of death in technical mechanisms. The technological interventions exclude suicide from the bioethical debate on the death of human beings. Differently from bioethics, that limits itself to examine the relationships of third parties in view of the voluntary death of individuals, the Kantian doctrine of virtue considers suicide as a violation of the strict duty towards ourselves. The article discusses the reasons why Kant was opposed to suicide and situates his prohibition in the later work of the German philosopher.

Key words: Kant, practical reason, suicide, doctrine of virtue, kantian theory of duties.

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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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