Do people believe that everyone deserves compassion, regardless of their situation? It’s a question University of Chicago Research Assistant Professor Fan Yang wanted to explore. Short version: no. Her research team found that we don’t tend to extend compassion to those perceived to have immoral intention, character or group membership, or for those who caused their own suffering. “We found that people do not think everybody deserves compassion,” Yang said. “They actually reserve compassion only for people who they think have good moral character and moral status.”
Compassion that is withheld – regardless of the person or reason – diminishes our humanity because it sets us in judgment of others. Moreover, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are a kind of false compassion and not compassionate choices for those suffering.
Read more: UChicago News