Year: 1990 Source: Journal of Value Inquiry, v.24, no.1, (1990), p.67-81 SIEC No: 20021079

This paper defines what suicide is and provides a schema for its moral evaluation. When an individual takes his/her own life it is suicide unless one of two conditions obtains: he did not truly “choose” his death, or there is an alternate description/intention of the act. The moral evaluation of suicides groups them into three classes: the laudable, “acceptable,” and immoral. The laudable are other-regarding. Acceptable suicides involve the agent in disvaluing his/her own life. And immoral suicides either use the death as a means to evil ends or spring from weak character.