Suicide, Law and society: Civil disobedience in perspective

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
4 pages
Research Article

Suicide, Law and society: Civil disobedience in perspective

Valdir Aragão do Nascimento, Igor Domingos de Souza,  Cleberson Dias Lima, Sonia Maria Oliveira de Andrade and Valter Aragão do Nascimento


The right to life is a constituent part of the legal prerogatives of the human being, guaranteed by the constitutions in several modern countries. Nevertheless, the right to die through assisted suicide in the cases of terminally ill patients and / or victims of degenerative and irreversible diseases is still taboo. The manuscript presented here aims to discuss from the point of view of the theoretical contributions of the Law, Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy, the main issues related to suicide. Through a bibliographical and documentary research, it is concluded that the right to a dignified death is still controversial in several regions of the world, including Brazil in which practices aimed at assisted suicide and other practices of self-annihilation are not accepted by the legal system. Cases of suicide by terminally ill patients such as those condemned to a vegetative life due to degenerative diseases or even death facilitated by relatives are frequent. Several examples show that the State's request for authorization to legitimize such acts is no more than a respectful concession that the applicants make to the society to which they belong. Authorization is requested for respect or deference, often unconscious, to social institutions, when such authorization is denied, civil disobedience is triggered.

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