Scientific article
Open access

Against Commercial‐assisted Suicide

ContributorsDella Croce, Yoannorcid
Published inBioethics, vol. 37, no. 7, p. 617-623
Publication date2023-05-16
First online date2023-05-16


The idea of commercial‐assisted suicide lives a marginal existence in the bioethical literature, despite its significant presence in popular culture. The practice of commercial‐assisted suicide (CAS) is defined as suicide assistance performed for a financial reward through a contractual agreement between a customer and a service‐provider, who does not necessarily need to be a medical professional. While CAS does indeed offer some potential solutions regarding the moral controversies surrounding physician‐assisted suicide (PAS), I defend the idea that adopting it as policy ultimately proves morally indefensible and practically inefficient. This is due to the fact that the commodification of a given good necessarily implies the creation of a market of said good; as such, what I propose in this paper is a moral and practical evaluation of a market of CAS. In order to do so, I first examine the arguments in favor of CAS as put forward by Roland Kipke, who argues that any liberal defense of PAS necessarily implies a defense of CAS. In the first section, I argue against this idea using the liberal values of autonomy and equality of opportunity. In the second section of the paper, I argue that a market of CAS would be gravely dysfunctional due to one particular characteristic of death, namely, that is not compensable ex post. I conclude by arguing that while the practice of CAS may not prove morally problematic, the inevitable market that it will create should it be legalized most certainly will.

  • assisted suicide
  • autonomy
  • commodification
  • equality
  • markets
Citation (ISO format)
DELLA CROCE, Yoann. Against Commercial‐assisted Suicide. In: Bioethics, 2023, vol. 37, n° 7, p. 617–623. doi: 10.1111/bioe.13173
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0269-9702

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