Should Attempted Suicide Be Criminalized?

48 CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN, 1307-1325 (2012)

Posted: 21 Apr 2015

See all articles by Ioanna Tourkochoriti

Ioanna Tourkochoriti

Harvard Law School; National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

The Article argues that criminalization of attempted suicide is justified only on the basis of a paternalistic conception of the state, which was dominant in the thought of the ancients. Modernity, on the other hand, is based on the distinction between the social, political, and moral spheres, and the recognition of autonomy concerning the fundamental life decisions of the person. Nonetheless, it has been argued that human dignity dictates the criminalization of suicide as the abuse of the right to autonomy. This Article critiques this contention, concluding instead that human dignity implies a degree of autonomy sufficient to decide whether life is meaningful and what makes it so, even if this particular type of freedom leads to one's suicide.

Keywords: Human Dignity, attempted suicide, philosophy of criminal law

Suggested Citation

Tourkochoriti, Ioanna, Should Attempted Suicide Be Criminalized? (2012). 48 CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN, 1307-1325 (2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2596643

Ioanna Tourkochoriti (Contact Author)

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National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) - School of Law ( email )

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University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

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