Confucian ethic of death with dignity and its contemporary relevance

Ping Cheung LO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 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
JournalJournal of the Society of Christian Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)


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