Philosophical anthropology problem of life and death euthanasia and suicide
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KARAGANDA STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY Department: History of Kazakhstan and social-political disciplines Lecture 22. Philosophical anthropology. Problem of Life and Death , euthanasia and suicide. Temirbekova M.Y. - teacher of department’s History of Kazakhstan and SPD, Master of Humanities.

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Philosophical anthropology problem of life and death euthanasia and suicide

KARAGANDA STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITYDepartment: History of Kazakhstan and social-political disciplines

Lecture 22

Philosophical anthropology. Problem of Life and Death, euthanasia and suicide

Temirbekova M.Y. - teacher

of department’s History of Kazakhstan and SPD, Master of Humanities

Brief contents

  • Philosophical anthropology

  • Euthanasia

  • Suicide

Philosophical anthropology

  • Philosophical anthropology, sometimes called anthropological philosophy, is a discipline dealing with questions of metaphysics and phenomenology of the human person, and interpersonal relationships.

  • History

  • Ancient Christian writers: Augustine of Hippo

  • Augustine of Hippo was one of the first Christian ancient Latin authors with very clear anthropological vision, although it is not clear if he had any influence on Max Scheler, the founder of philosophical anthropology as an independent discipline, nor on any of the major philosophers that followed him. Augustine has been cited by Husserl and Heidegger as one of the early writer to inquire on time-consciousness and the role of seeing in the feeling of "Being-in-the-world"

Vitruvian Man or the perfect man by Leonardo da Vinci

  • Augustine's favourite figure to describe body-soul unity is marriage: carotua, coniuxtua - your body is your wife. Initially, the two elements were in perfect harmony. After the fall of humanity they are now experiencing dramatic combat between one another.

  • Modern period

  • Philosophical anthropology as a kind of thought, before it was founded as a distinct philosophical discipline in the 1920s, emerged as post-medieval thought striving from the emancipation from Christian religion and Aristotelic tradition. The origin of this liberation, characteristic of modernity, has been the Cartesian skepticism formulated by Descartes in the first two of his Meditations on First Philosophy (1641).

  • Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) taught the first lectures on anthropology in the European academic world. He specifically developed a conception of pragmatic anthropology, according to which the human being is studied as a free agent. At the same time, he conceived of his anthropology as an empirical, not a strictly philosophical discipline. Both his philosophical and his anthropological work has been one of the influences in the field during the 19th and 20th century. After Kant, Ludwig Feuerbach is sometimes considered the next most important influence and founder of anthropological philosophy.

  • During the 19th century, an important contribution came from post-kantian German idealists like Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, as well from Søren Kierkegaard. From the late 19th century till the early 20th century, influential contributors have been Friedrich Nietzsche, John Dewey and Rudolf Steiner


  • Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending a person's life to relieve suffering.

  • For example, a doctor who gives a patient who has terminal cancer an overdose of muscle relaxants to end their life would be considered to have carried out euthanasia.

  • Assisted suicide is the act of deliberately assisting or encouraging another person who commits, or attempts to commit, suicide.

  • If a relative of a person with a terminal illness were to obtain powerful sedatives, knowing that the person intended to take an overdose of sedatives to kill themselves, they would be assisting suicide.

  • Legal position

  • Depending on the circumstances, euthanasia is regarded as either manslaughter or murder and is punishable by law with a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment. 

  • Assisted suicide is illegal under the terms of the Suicide Act (1961) and is punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment. Attempting to commit suicide is not a criminal act in itself. 

Types of euthanasia

  • Euthanasia can be classified in different ways, including:

  • active euthanasia – where a person deliberately intervenes to end someone’s life, for example, by injecting them with sedatives  

  • passive euthanasia – where a person causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life, such as withholding antibiotics in someone with pneumonia

  • Euthanasia can also be classified as:

  • voluntary euthanasia – where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks for help to do this

  • non-voluntary euthanasia – where a person is unable to give their consent (for example, because they are in a coma or are severely brain damaged) and another person takes the decision on their behalf, often because the ill person previously expressed a wish for their life to be ended in such circumstances

  • involuntary euthanasia – where a person is killed against their expressed wishes


  • Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is frequently attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a role. Efforts to prevent suicide include limiting access to firearms, treating mental illness and drug misuse, and improving economic development.

  • The most commonly used method of suicide varies by country and is partly related to availability. Common methods include: hanging, pesticide poisoning, and firearms. Around 800,000 to a million people die by suicide every year, making it the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. Rates are higher in men than in women, with males three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year. Attempts are more common in young people and females.