The current issue of Bioethics (vol. 29, no. 7, September 2015) has a number of pieces that will be of likely interest to What’s Wrong? readers. One article, in particular, managed to draw critical fire even before it was published. In “Why Not Commercial Assistance for Suicide?: On the Question of Argumentative Coherence of Endorsing Assisted Suicide,” Roland Kipke argues that defending the legalization of assisted suicide commits one to defending the legalization of commercial assisted suicide in particular, a result that most defenders of assisted suicide are reluctant to accept. You can see an early reaction to Kipke’s paper in the National Review here and, thanks to a special arrangement with Wiley, you can enjoy free access to the article itself here as What’s Wrong?‘s featured journal article of the month for October.
Professor Kipke has generously offered to respond to questions or comments that What’s Wrong? readers might have after reading his article. Simply submit a comment below if you would like to participate. He also provided this brief precis and explanation of the genesis of the paper: “Advocates of assisted suicide want its approval limited to certain cases. Other cases should be excluded, for example commercial assistance for suicide. I have always wondered: is this a plausible position? The specific occasion for this article was the German debate on suicide assistance, but the question is relevant for any debate on assisted suicide: Should not one who advocates physician-assisted suicide in autonomous patients advocate much more? My concern is not at all to defend commercial assistance for suicide, but only to raise the question of whether there are good arguments for the position that advocates physician-assisted suicide while rejecting commercial assistance for suicide. There are none.”
(image: suicide booth)