Sometimes life can take a turn for the worst. Let’s say all these scenarios happen: You lose your close family in an accident, your friends stab you in the back, you fall into a fire and melt your beautiful face, and you suffer from intense chronic pain throughout your body coupled with drug and therapy resistant depression. If such a situation was to occur and you couldn’t bear the thought of living anymore, would it be acceptable if you wanted to take your life? Would taking your life be forfeiting a virtuous life?
The Stoics didn’t believe taking your life would necessarily forfeit virtue. If they saw your situation so dire and you had such crippling depression and intense chronic pain, they’d understand if you took the path of euthanasia. Largely because chronic pain and crippling depression coupled with all these ill circumstances is going to make it difficult for you to be virtuous. And without virtue, then there is no eudaimonia. There is no praiseworthiness. So the only thing virtuous left to do would be to take your life.
Zeno of Citium famously took his life because he broke his toe. This may seem ridiculous to us moderns but a broken toe in the ancient days for an old man could’ve been difficult to treat. Plus the pain associated with the broken toe would’ve made it difficult to live a life of virtue and excellence.
Another thing to bear in mind is that we’re only human. None of us are Sages. Remember that before judging anyone too harshly when they decide on euthanasia.