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Physician-Assisted Suicide: What Would John Rawls Do? - Marty Carcieri

Humanist Community in Silicon Valley holds weekly forums with speakers discussing topics of interest to humanists.

One of our favorites, Marty Carcieri, is coming back for our first forum of 2014. Join us!


Physician-assisted Suicide and Beyond - What Would John Rawls Do?

Speaker: Marty Carcieri


Physician-Assisted Suicide, even for the terminally ill, is legal in only four U.S. States.

Yet there are now proposals in the U.S. and abroad to extend the right to die (i.e., to obtain and consume a reliable lethal dose of barbiturates) even further: 1) to those over 70 years of age, and 2) to those whose longtime spouses are near death and who wish to die with them.

How would these proposals fare under the principles of justice articulated and defended by John Rawls, the most influential political theorist of our time?

Martin Carcieri, Associate Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University, and a friend of the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley, will present his application of Rawlsian principles to one of the most urgent public policy issues of our time.

After the Forum, please join us for a buffet lunch at 12:15pm.  The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

Find us on the web at http://www.humanists.org

Join or login to comment.

  • Phil C.

    sorry Marty - family situation came up, not bad, just urgent

    January 5, 2014

  • Marty

    Hello Eric and G-Max, Thanks for your replies. My research has shown that many who try suicide on their own end up botching it, and ending up in worse shape than before. In addition, in the influential book Final Exit, Derek Humphrey reviews all the ways people have traditionally tried to commit suicide. He concludes that the best, most painless, most reliable way to do it is by consuming the equivalent of about fifty seconol or phenobarbitol pills, precisely the method that Oregon and Washington law prescribe for the terminally ill who qualify for PAS. The bottom line in my view is that since we have long had these means to ensure a painless death, a civilized, humane society would make those means available to those who qualify and have made the request on more than one occasion. Hope to see you tomorrow.

    January 4, 2014

  • eric s.

    Much easier way is breathing pure nitrogen for a minute or so. Painless and effective.

    January 3, 2014

  • G-Max

    You know, killing yourself without a doctor's help isn't THAT hard. Try dissolving phenibut in vodka until it's saturated, then drinking until you fall asleep.

    Or just OD on heroin. It's not like illegal drugs are hard to get.

    January 2, 2014

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