(Australasian Catholic Record; 94 (4) )
At the forefront of the current debate on 'assisted death' is the autonomy argument. Advocates of assisted death often appeal to respect for autonomy as a trump card that can override all other considerations: the value of human life, the prohibition of killing in the medical tradition, and other social responsibilities. For Kant, who invented the concept of autonomy and regarded it as the manifestation of human dignity, the concept of killing oneself is rationally indefensible and totally at odds with the exercise of autonomy. This article discusses the origin of respect for autonomy in health ethics, and provides a Kantian critique of physician-assisted death.
(Australasian Catholic Record; 93 (2) )
Every war is sustained by a narrative that explains the conflict and the necessity of the use of force. A war narrative gives the assembly a common identity, a sense of solidarity, and a mandate for action. This paper examines the ethical significance of war narratives, with particular reference to the Vietnam War, and how war narratives can continue to foster enmity for decades after the fighting. The paper discusses two war narratives that played vital roles in the Vietnam conflict: the Revolution narrative, and the Republic narrative. Drawing from the works of Jon Sobrino and Jurgen Moltmann, who identify the crucified Christ with the victims of violence, this paper demonstrates that the cross can offer a new vision for peaceful coexistence beyond war and animosity.