New Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide (EAS) Briefing Paper: The Principle of Autonomy – Does it Support the Legalisation of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide (Dr Xavier Symons)

Our latest paper in our euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) series is The Principle of Autonomy – Does it Support the Legalisation of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide by Dr Xavier Symons.

In his paper, Dr Symons defines and critiques the abuse of the concept of autonomy in debates over euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS), and argues for an understanding of autonomy which does not eclipse a connection to the common good. This begins with a recognition of the social nature of human life: how an individual life always affects the life held in common by society, and how our dependence on others is fundamental in our understanding of the human person. In this light, he contends, euthanasia and assisted suicide are in fact hindrances to the exercise of authentic autonomy, not its realisation in the face of difficulty.

The papers in our EAS series clarify the issues at stake in the social, political, and medical discussion, examining the definitions concerning, and practical consequences of legalising physician involvement in assisting a patient to end their own life, or directly causing their death.

You can read our ongoing EAS briefing paper series on its dedicated page on our website, here.

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