John Stuart Mill Assisted Suicide Analysis

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In the following essay I am going to first of all explain what J S Mill means by the statement on mankind’s way of living. I will do this by critically assessing his point of view, whilst adding the perspectives of other Philosophers. Subsequently I will analyze how a defender of Mill’s theory would answer the question of: Should assisted suicide be legal? Finally I will demonstrate my point of view on the question. I will conclude by summing up all the topics discussed. John Stuart Mill was a philosopher, political economist and civil servant in the 19th century . Mill is a Liberalist, which means that he believed that the government should not influence our personal choices as equal citizens of a society. John Mill was also a Utilitarian,…show more content…
The question: Should assisted suicide be legal? could therefor have various different answers for someone following Mill’s theory. Some might suggest that Mill would support assisted suicide because it helps the individual, while others could say that Mill would not agree with assisted suicide because it harms others. I will discuss these ideas below. In the Harm Principle Mill suggests that the actions of individuals should be limited to prevent the harm of others . An individual may do whatever he or she wants, as long as these actions do not harm others. Mill believes in an individual’s autonomy; being self governed. We can live as we wish, and therefor also die as and when we wish. As Mill says: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” The harm principle thus protects people from each other, not from themselves. We can thus do whatever we want with our own bodies. Suicide is a personal decision, and it does not harm others physically. Mill’s theory would therefor allow assisted
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