Aristotle greatly emphasizes the influence of the master, or he who possesses the greatest amount of practical wisdom. It is this master that we should turn to in order to determine the most virtuous course of action. In addition to this, Aristotle is very clear on his view on suicide, or any action which ends a human life before it has reached its true end, claiming that those who commit such actions are merely cowards who rob society of their positive contributions – both socially and economically.
I choose to approach this issue from the perspective of such actions being used as an avoidance/elimination of pain on the part of a terminally ill individual. To said individual, pain belongs uniquely to them in the sense that no other can experience their pain or even attempt to understand it, but also that no one pain is exactly like any pain we have felt before or are likely to ever feel again. It is for this reason that we refer to pain in the form of vague metaphors – a sharp stabbing pain, a dull ache, etc – as we lack the ability to fully share our experience of pain with those we attempt to describe it to. Considering this, could the individual who experiences this pain be the master of themselves? Could they then be permitted to choose – based upon their possession of the greatest practical wisdom on the part of their pain – their own fate, whether that be to die a natural death or to die by a purposeful method? Or perhaps, is the state of being master of their pain (if they are so), not enough to warrant a right to choose their own death?