Confucian Ethic of Death with Dignity and Its Contemporary Relevance

Ping Cheung Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper advances three claims. First, according to contemporary Western advocates of physician-assisted 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 a consonance as well as dissonance between these two ethics of death with dignity, such as 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
    Pages (from-to)313-333
    Number of pages21
    JournalThe Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Medicine(all)


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