Year: 1980 Source: Bioethics Quarterly, v.2, no.1, (Spring 1980), p.46-55 SIEC No: 20020912

Ethical issues surrounding the act of suicide are confounded by the difference between the complexity of suicide & the popular & professional clinical view of suicide. In elaborating these different views, it is shown that the dominant view of suicide as a manifestation of mental illness has a weak scientific base & limits our efforts at understanding the multi-faceted concept ‘suicide’. In particular, the rationality of those who kill themselves is examined. Finally, the right of a person in our society to take his or her own life is supported; the state is shown to have no base for a compelling interest in preventing suicide. (24 refs)