Year: 1999 Source: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, v.20, no.3, (1999), p.287-298 SIEC No: 20020868

The ethical problems surrounding voluntary assisted suicide remain formidable, & are unlikely to be resolved in pluralist societies. An examination of historical attitudes to suicide suggests that modernity has inherited a formidable complex of religious & moral attitudes to suicide, whether assisted or not. Advocates usually invoke the ending of intolerable suffering as one justification for euthanasia of this kind. This does not provide an adequate justification by itself, because there are (at least theoretically) methods which would relieve suffering without causing the physical death of the suffering person. (25 refs)