Altruism and physician assisted death.

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy

PubMedID: 8366320

Gunderson M, Mayo DJ. Altruism and physician assisted death. J Med Philos. 1993;18(3):281-95.
We assume that a statute permitting physician assisted death has been passed. We note that the rationale for the passage of such a statute would be respect for individual autonomy, the avoidance of suffering and the possibility of death with dignity. We deal with two moral issues that will arise once such a law is passed. First, we argue that the rationale for passing an assistance in dying law in the first place provides a justification for assisting patients to die who are motivated by altruistic reasons as well as patients who are motivated by reasons of self-interest. Second, we argue that the reasons for passing a physician assisted death law in the first place justify extending the law to cover some nonterminal patients as well as terminal patients.