By Baruch A. Brody (auth.), Baruch A. Brody (eds.)
`All in all, this can be a quantity that's vital for any educational library precious of the identify. ...To try to mirror upon those concerns with out the ancient historical past and argumentation present in this short quantity will be to place oneself at a superb drawback. On that foundation i like to recommend it wholeheartedly.'
Ethics, January 1992
`The quantity ... is of serious worth in addressing the historic concerns, and you could earnestly desire that it'll be prevalent to reinforce the sophistication and ancient sensitivity of latest discussions of the ethics of suicide and euthanasia.'
ESPMH-Newsletter, nine, 1990
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Extra resources for Suicide and Euthanasia: Historical and Contemporary Themes
H. Armstrong'S treatise, regards suicide as reasonable under any circumstances. Plotinus is explicit at I 9, lines 11-14 (and compare I 4, 9) that incipient madness is no reason to commit suicidesuicide - and what could Plotinus, with his views about the value of rational activity, think would give us reason to commit suicide, if going mad did not? And in I 4, 8, 1-2 and 8-12 he makes it clear that if pains become unbearable without ceasing of their own accord, they (not oneself) will bring one's life to an end.
The first three are the most famous, but all of them can be used to raise some normative questions and/or to draw some normative conclusions. During the Roman persecutions after the destruction of the Second Temple, R. Chanina b. Tradyon continued to teach the law even though such teaching was illicit. He was condemned to be executed. He was wrapped in a Torah Scroll and put on a pile of branches which were set on flre. Cotton soaked in water was placed upon him to slow his dying process. His students suggested that he open his mouth and breathe in the smoke so that he would die quickly.
Similar questions need to be raised about the story of the mass suicide of the young priests during the destruction of the First Temple. The legendary text reads as follows: When the First Temple was destroyed, groups of young priests gathered the keys of the Temple in their hands and they went to the roof. They said, God, since we have not been allowed to be faithful treasurers, we return these keys to you. They threw them towards Heaven, and a hand came and caught them. The priests jumped into the fire.