, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 41-63

Is There a Moral Duty to Die?

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

In recent years, there has been a great deal of philosophical discussion about the alleged moral right to die. If there is such a moral right, then it would seem to imply a moral duty on others to not interfere with the exercise of the right. And this might have important implications for public policy insofar as public policy ought to track what is morally right.

But is there a moral duty to die? If so, under what conditions, if any, ought one to have such a duty, and why? In this paper, I distinguish between different moral grounds for the putative moral duty to die: deontological, intuitionist, and contractarian. Subsequently, I argue in support of Paul Menzel's theory of health care distribution. More precisely, I concur with his claim that there is a moral duty to die inexpensively in health care contexts. Then I provide and defend a philosophical analysis of the conditions in which such a duty could exist.