Menschenwürde und Recht auf Leben

Zusammenfassung / Summary

We have to distinguish between human dignity and right to life. Human dignity and right to life are founded on autonomy; life is the basic precondition of autonomy. Autonomy does not mean arbitrariness; it means responsibility. From autonomy as responsibility follows a right to life in a strict sense, i.e. as a duty to live in the sense that the decision to end one’s own life has to be answered for. The end of life is the end of responsibility, and the end of responsibility has to be answered for. The importance of this decision is that by ending one’s life responsibility is ended so that suicide is a possibility to shirk one’s responsibility. - Is it morally permitted to evaluate the quality of a human life and to kill a human being on the basis of this evaluation? Evaluation of the quality of life of another human being in this sense and with these consequences is an extreme act of paternalism; it abolishes the autonomy of the other person.

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