Should Attempted Suicide Be Criminalized?
48 CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN, 1307-1325 (2012)
Posted: 21 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2012
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
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