Choice, dignity and death

Why those who believe autonomy alone confers strength are wrong

April 26, 2012 | by Clement Ng
PDF:  Choice, dignity and death


  1. Gilbert, M. (2003). Whole. New York: Sundance Channel.
  2. For a defense of voluntary amputation of healthy limbs, on the grounds of autonomy, see Baye, T. and Levy, N., (2005). Amputees by choice: Body integrity identity disorder and the ethics of amputation. Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 22, No. 1.
  3. The Coumbias travelled to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, only to have the joint request turned down. Mrs. Coumbias later died of cancer, while her husband continues to live with heart disease.
    Schaefer, G. (2007, September 23). Until assisted suicide do us part. The Vancouver Province. Retrieved from
  4. Schüklenk, U., van Delden, J. J. M., Downie, J., McLean, S., Upshur, R. and Weinstock, D. (2011). End-of-life decision-making in Canada: The report by the Royal Society of Canada expert panel on end-of-life decision-making. Ottawa: Royal Society of Canada, p. 101.
  5. Gaudreault, M., Hivon, V., Champagne, N, Charbonneau, F., Charette, B., Chevarie, G., Khadir, A., Reid, P. and Richard, M. (2012). Mourir dans la dignité: Le rapport de la commission spéciale sur la question de mourir dans la dignité. Québec City: Assemblée nationale du Québec, Secrétariat des commissions, p. 84.
    An English summary is available at
  6. For further explication of this approach to goods see Lee, P. and George, R. P. (2008). Body-self dualism in contemporary ethics and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.