Last updated on: 5/6/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Joseph Fletcher Biography

Title:
Former President of the Euthanasia Society of America
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“Doctors and laymen have asked lawmakers to legalize direct euthanasia, thus far unsuccessfully. While this writer’s decision is in favor of the direct method, it may be necessary to settle temporarily for an intermediate step in the law… To bring this matter into the open practice of medicine would harmonize the civil law with medical morals, which must be concerned with the quality of life, not merely its quantity.”

Moral Responsibility: Situation Ethics at Work, 1967

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former President, Euthanasia Society of America
  • Founder, Theory of Situational Ethics
  • First Professor of Medical Ethics, University of Virginia
  • Co-Founder, Program in Biology and Society, University of Virginia
  • Professor of Christian Ethics, Harvard Divinity School, 1944-1970
  • Professor of Christian Ethics, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Member, American Eugenics Society
Education:
  • Episcopal Priest, Berkeley Divinity School
Other:
  • Born: 1905
  • Died: 1991