Euthanasia. What Is the Genuine Problem?

Alberto Giubilini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current impasse in the old debate about the morality of euthanasia is mainly due to the fact that the actual source of conflict has not been properly identified'or so I shall argue. I will first analyse the two different issues involved in the debate, which are sometimes confusingly mixed up, namely: (a) what is euthanasia?, and (b) why is euthanasia morally problematic? Considering documents by physicians, philosophers and the Roman Catholic Church, I will show that (a) 'euthanasia' is defined by the intention to bring about a patient's death, and (b) the distinction between what is intentional and what is not does not represent the morally problematic reason against euthanasia. Therefore, although the debate on euthanasia so far has mainly focussed on the distinctions 'active'/passive' and 'intentional'/unintentional,' I argue that neither constitutes the genuine source of the controversies. I will clarify what the source of controversies is, and outline the minimal requirement for an argument against euthanasia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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