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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2007

Ethics

Donald Ipperciel
Pages 251-256
DOI: 10.5840/wcp2120071301

The Latimer Decision
A Case Study on Euthanasia

I would like to use the highly publicized Latimer decision in Canada as a case study on euthanasia. In this case, Robert Latimer killed his severely disabled 12-year-old child in order, in his mind, to end her suffering. Consequently, he was convicted of first-degree murder. I will argue that condemning Robert Latimer's act 1) ensues from hermeneutically misconstruing the concrete situation; 2) does not respect the criterion of reasonableness, which is linked to the consideration of an ethos. The elaboration of the arguments will refer to the ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court (R. v. Latimer, 2001), which produced the most comprehensive case against Latimer's actions.

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