Other human rights imply a right to die

Without creating (or acknowledging) a specific right to die, it is possible to argue that other human rights ought to be taken to include this right. The right to life includes the right to die...

...● The right to life is a right to life with a minimum quality and value. (Source)

Would someone please explain what this noun phrase means? I understand these words separately, but not combined. Does it imply that without some quality and under some value, the right to life nullifies itself? Which definition of quality and value apply?

  • People, specifically dying people, have a right to a life characteristized by some minimum quality and value. The first definition of each word is what is being referred to. – user6951 Oct 5 '14 at 7:04
  • Imagine a person who can't move, can't see, hear or taste. Somehow the doctors have developed a channel of communication, they can impress a message through causing or not causing pain to specific body parts, and receive a 'yes' or 'no' through movement of the toe of the patient. The quality and value of life is definitely under the acceptable threshold, and the patient demands to be killed. Should such a wish be granted? – SF. Mar 5 '15 at 3:39

"Quality of life" refers to a life not so beset with suffering that the person wishes the life would end. Living still has the pleasure of being alive.

Value, on the other hand, is nebulous.


I presume that the sentence intends to say:

The right to life is a right to live with a minimum quality and value.

Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense.

Quality, as TRomano explained, refers to "quality of life," which refers to one's status of living; how well-off and/or happy they are. A beggar squatting in an abandoned house has very poor quality of life, for instance.

Value refers to the philosophical belief that all human life has some kind of intrinsic value. In other words, the author is saying that everyone deserves to be treated as if their life means at least as much as the next person's. This means that people will not be discriminated on any basis and put into demanding tasks such as slave labor, etc.


It means that the right to life means the right to a life that is to some degree good, and to a life that a person (to some degree) wants to have or that is considered to have some amount or degree of worth.

How these concepts would be defined more specifically, and how they would be measured, is not adressed in the excerpt.

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