Confucian ethic of death with dignity and its contemporary relevance

Ping Cheung LO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper advances three claims. First, according to contemporary Western advocates of physicianassisted- suicide and voluntary euthanasia, "death with dignity" is understood negatively as bringing about death to avoid or prevent indignity, that is, to avoid a degrading existence. Second, there is a similar morally affirmative view on death with dignity in ancient China, in classical Confucianism in particular. Third, there is consonance as well as dissonance between these two ethics of death with dignity, such that the Confucian perspective would regard the argument for physician-assisted-suicide and voluntary euthanasia as less than compelling because of the latter's impoverished vision of human life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplied Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationA Multicultural Approach: Sixth Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315097176
ISBN (Print)9781138936928
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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