HEC Forum

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 229-243

First online:

Voluntary Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and the Right to do Wrong

  • Jukka VareliusAffiliated withDepartment of Behavioural Sciences and Philosophy, University of Turku Email author 

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It has been argued that voluntary euthanasia (VE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) are morally wrong. Yet, a gravely suffering patient might insist that he has a moral right to the procedures even if they were morally wrong. There are also philosophers who maintain that an agent can have a moral right to do something that is morally wrong. In this article, I assess the view that a suffering patient can have a moral right to VE and PAS despite the moral wrongness of the procedures in light of the main argument for a moral right to do wrong found in recent philosophical literature. I maintain that the argument does not provide adequate support for such a right to VE and PAS.


Autonomy Death Patient Physician-assisted suicide Right to do wrong Voluntary euthanasia