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Authors

G. Steven Neely

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the common legal and psychiatric presumption that all decisions to die result from a clouded mind. Indeed, a realistic and common sense view of the issue asserts quite the contrary: namely, that self-directed death may prove to be an optimally rational course of action in light of an individual's circumstances and ends. While the state has a legitimate concern in the welfare of its citizens and should seek to prevent unwarranted loss of life, it should be loathe to force a mentally competent adult to remain alive against his will and best interests.

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