Cavanaugh, Thomas Anthony
2 Articles at

Thomas Anthony Cavanaugh is Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco where he regularly teaches medical ethics. Hippocrates' Oath and Asclepius' Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession (Oxford University Press, 2018) is his most recent book.


New! Truth, Euphemism, and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide pithily and precisely names the act of a doctor prescribing a lethal drug at his terminally ill patient's request. However, its advocates reject this name and propose euphemisms in its place, such as "death with dignity" and "end of life option." These amount to advertisements for the disputed practice and ought to be rejected as imprecise, inaccurate, and jargonistic.

Date posted: 2020-02-26

Why the Hippocratic Oath Prohibits Physician-Assisted Suicide

The Hippocratic Oath rightly prohibits doctors from giving deadly drugs, even if autonomous patients ask for them. By assisting in the suicide of a terminally ill patient who wants to determine the manner of his death, the physician inappropriately medicalizes mortality itself. He also jeopardizes the welfare of other vulnerable patients.

Date posted: 2019-12-02