Monash Bioethics Review

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Euthanasia, double effect, and proportionality

  • Lawrence Johnson


I discuss the Principle of Double Effect (PDE) as a means of exploring aspects of the motivation of active voluntary euthanasia (a.v.e.). It is argued that the objective of a.v.e. is not death but the relief of suffering. Nor is death the means, it is a concomitant I entertain no hope of convincing the typical proponent of PDE that a.v.e. is morally acceptable. However, I point out that a central strength of the PDE is its insistence on due proportionality between outcomes. When a.v.e. is appropriate, as sometimes it is, death is not out of proportion to the relief of suffering.


Morphine Palliative Care Double Effect Monash Bioethic Review Moral Evil 
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Copyright information

© Monash University 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFlinders UniversityAustralia

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