Monash University

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Mercy, Compassion, and Euthanasia

posted on 2018-02-26, 22:55 authored by BRYANNA SUE MOORE
This dissertation examines which virtues a good doctor would draw upon to guide them when confronted with choices over whether to assist a patient to die. I examine the use of two virtues, mercy and compassion, which commonly feature in assisted dying laws and medical codes of conduct. I argue that it is a conceptual error to treat mercy killing as synonymous with euthanasia. What is meant by reference to mercy killing in the context of euthanasia is actually compassionate homicide. Compassion is a virtue good doctors would call upon to guide their conduct in the context of assisted dying.


Principal supervisor

Justin Gerard Oakley

Additional supervisor 1

Dr. Ryan Tonkens

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts