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The Right to Death as the Complementary Value of the Human Existence

Updated on February 21, 2020

On Bodily Autonomy as per the Feminist Ethics

The philosophy of human existence can attest as to how the essence of life is constantly subjected to a momentary and generational shift of reasoning, being, and becoming thereby creating a series of solitary grounds to which individuals may or may not position themselves in effect to their determined sphere of vicinity. Such claims of ground affirm that individuals are in focus of the temporal value which underpins the apparent manifestation of their tendencies within their anticipated course of enactment whereby a subject and object relationship is found to emerge. This relationship functions as the primary framework with regard to the individual’s means to identify himself alongside the othered factor of his existence–namely the factors that he may, later on, come to objectify–wherein a structure of response is realigned upon the subject’s reach as guided by a conviction to deliver, perform, and adopt. Hence, the proposition of a coinciding act of compliance towards a narrative of normativity upon the conditions that encompass such an enforced subscription. However, it cannot be denied that this claimed subscription is complemented by a potential negation which may arise from the individual’s belief of defiance against the sense of rigidity, initially introduced on his behalf thereby instigating a movement of deviance. A movement of deviance–in this matter–guarantees that the standardized significance of human life is modified upon the individual’s developed judgment thereby presuming a derived stance of validity, justification, and agency which is likely encountered upon the realization of death. Moreover, the individual at this point acquires his personal rationale as regards assembling a prediction of events that he believes may contribute to the proceeding progress of his accounted essence of life. Such a claim of progress–in fact–recognizes the corresponding predicaments that may come to materialize along its channel of continuity.

For that matter, this raises the emotional, physical, and mental influence of death as positioned upon a conceptual disparity of perception such as death being a voluntary or involuntary act. The former is commonly acknowledged through a framed perspective of suicidal manifestations, hence it is believed to be supported by an irrational reasoning which is claimed to be compelled by an internal conflict whereas the latter is recognized through its sense of externality which exists beyond man’s grasp of reality. This conceptual disparity–rather than learned–is preserved, provided that an initiative to deviate from this connotes a higher sense of liberation which presupposes the quality of life which is beyond the standard consideration of man. Therefore, this poses a degree of understanding that requires an act of solitary support which unifies the Self along with the promise of choice. On that account, there as well emerges a succeeding foundation to which the Self is enabled to engage in a process of redefining thereby initiating a transformative formation of judgment. It can be seen that the realization of acceptance and regard towards the concept of death provides an avenue for the Self to develop a series of personalities to which a matter of validity is to be diversified and modified in accordance with a preferred context of becoming to which the Self is given the capacity to cultivate the moral worth of what constitutes the essence of life along its assigned extremities–the beginning and cessation of human life. The cessation of human life–in this sense–now adopts the same recognition that its precedence acquires upon the delivery of life. Death becomes in subject of the standard meaning-making process to which the human entity in its nature is anticipated to establish as this entails the degree of autonomy from which the individual may seek a life recourse.

The right to life has been found to be complemented by the right to death wherein a considerable basis of its effect remains debatable as this asserts the several reports of legality and illegality attached to its practical adaptation. In fact, a corresponding movement has long-been existing in support of the female reason concerning matters of bodily autonomy to which the right to death is validated by a self-authorized decision that precedes such an end (Burns, 2017). This sense of precedence guarantees that a successful death becomes attainable in the presence of a voluntary enactment of ownership to which the living body is found to compel the individual’s conscious judgment to proceed. Sandra Bem, a feminist and professor at Cornell University,–as a matter of fact–has managed to establish the similar account upon deciding to “end her life before losing the ability to do so”, followed by a direct preference to “die on her own timetable and in her own nonviolent way” (Burns, 2017). Bem’s condition retains its controversial sensation, considering that she was not extremely ill during her time, eventually enabling her to resort to performing suicide. Cases for a medical-assisted suicide carries with it the need for gatekeepers who shall police the course of the entire processing by sanctioning the normative manifestation of having a sound mind as a result of the individual’s agreed resolution, hence the foreseen conflict upon Bem’s case. Right to die laws from the perspective of the feminist ethics can affirm that the use of gatekeepers is in conflict of what is argued on part of having the right to death, provided that the right ensures an inward moral approval from the primary entity. Further, despite this emphasis on agency, a concern on abuse is regarded, provided that a medical-assisted suicide is susceptible to a manipulation by authorities, hence the access to deliver this towards vulnerable individuals. Additionally, reasons that transpire a medical-assisted suicide appears to be crucial, given that majority of those who undergo through this within the contemporary times are brought about by a feeling of being a burden to which the autonomy of the Self as regards to choosing begins to lose its essence as this now raises an external influence that is beyond the individual’s grasp. On another note, Lester (1990) posits the disparity between a successful and failed suicide from which the former represents an attempted suicide–mostly observed among women–whereas the latter responds to the completion of suicide– commonly seen among men–, given that a failure to do so entails an empathetic concern towards the Other as envisioned from the female reason thereby interpreting it to be much more meaningful.

To add,–despite being grounded on a historical agreement upon the right to death–a gap on consideration is yet to be addressed when right to life supporters are rather affected by the task of sustaining, instead of bettering human life (Lady Science, 2019). Therefore, this creates a structure of neglect on inclusivity, given that human life encompasses a variety of individuals who may or may not be in subject of intolerable pain. Inclusivity upon the implementation of a medical-assisted suicide loses its value as well when guidelines are positioned on behalf of producing an authorized death request, hence dismissing the voluntary judgment of the individual in focus. With that, a matter of protection is in need to be redefined when the human worth is continually reappointed upon an area of self-nurture to which the concept of death becomes an origin of life or the other way around. This shift and dynamic in reasoning – once again – provides the extension to cultivate one’s understanding of man’s existence.

Having said that, I believe that an individual has the right to choose death as this argues man’s position within its origin of essence wherein an intervention of the Self is deemed to be the major agent that shall maneuver the moral justification of what it means to reconsider death in the most possible case. Therefore, this asserts the bodily autonomy that the feminist ethics believes to be the framework of man’s emerging moral norm whereby the right to claim is linked towards the capacity to affirm the utility of the body upon the function to discern via the human senses.


Burns, K. (2017). Should Feminists Embrace the Right to Die Movement?. Retrieved

December 5, 2019 from


Lady Science (2019). Is physician-assisted suicide a feminist issue?. Retrieved December 5, 2019


Lester, D. (1990). The Study of Suicide from a Feminist Perspective. Stockton University.


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