Last updated on: 8/13/2009 | Author:

R.G. Frey, DPhil Biography

Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“As we have seen, the legal right to refuse treatment provides one, in effect, with a way of committing suicide. The puzzle the present line of argument poses is this: if one thinks that it is acceptable to commit suicide, then why is it any less acceptable for the patient to commit suicide by means of a pill supplied by the doctor than by means of the doctor withdrawing feeding tubes or withdrawing a ventilator?…

It seems wholly arbitrary to deny terminally ill patients the pill, which gives them control over the time and manner of their own deaths, but to allow them, as it were, to have withdrawal and withholding of feeding tubes and ventilators…

Thus, if a right to refuse treatment provides one, in effect, with a way of committing suicide; if suicide is regarded as permissible; and if in order to commit suicide it must be possible for one to have access to the means of suicide; then we have no reason to believe that only withdrawing and withholding treatment are acceptable means of bringing about the patient’s death.”

“Distinctions in Death,” Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: For and Against, 1998

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 1986-present
  • Senior Research Fellow, Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green University, 1986-present
  • Senior Research Fellow, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1986-2000
  • Fellow, Westminster Institute of Ethics and Public Policy, University of Western Ontario (Canada), 1991-1997
  • Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Liverpool (England), 1978-1986
  • Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, Philosophy, University of Liverpool, 1974-1986
  • Visiting Professor, Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 1984
  • Visiting Professor, Philosophy, University of Toronto (Canada), 1981-1982
  • DPhil, University of Oxford, 1974
  • MA, Philosophy, University of Virginia, 1968
  • BA, Philosophy, College of William and Mary, 1966
  • Legal name is Raymond Gillespie Frey
  • His 1974 dissertation was titled “Rules and Consequences as Grounds for Moral Judgments”
  • Dr. Frey died in 2012
Quoted in:
  1. Would Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide or Voluntary Euthanasia Create a Slippery Slope to Non-Voluntary or Involuntary Euthanasia?