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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
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Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Arguement Against Legislation

ISBN13: 9780521009331
ISBN: 0521009332
Published: April 2002
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £29.99

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Whether the law should permit voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is one of the most vital questions facing all modern societies. Internationally, the main obstacle to legalisation has proved to be the objection that, even if they were morally acceptable in certain 'hard cases', voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide could not be effectively controlled; society would slide down a 'slippery slope' to the killing of patients who did not make a free and informed request, or for whom palliative care would have offered an alternative. How cogent is this objection?

This book provides the general reader (who need have no expertise in philosophy, law or medicine) with a lucid introduction to this central question in the debate, not least by reviewing the Dutch euthanasia experience. It will interest all in any country whether currently for or against legalisation, who wish to ensure that their opinions are better informed.

Medical Law
Part I. Definitions:
1. 'Voluntary euthanasia'
2. Intended v. foreseen life-shortening
3. 'Physician-assisted suicide'
Part II. The Ethical Debate: 4. The value of human life
5. Respecting the good of autonomy
6. Legal hypocrisy? 7. The 'slippery slope' argument
Part III. The Dutch Experience:
8. The guidelines
9. The first survey: the incidence of euthanasia
10. Breach of the guidelines
11. The shift toward condonation of NVE
12. The second survey
13. The Dutch in denial?
Part IV. Australia and the United States:
14. The Northern Territory: ROTTI
15. Oregon: The Death with Dignity Act
Part V. Expert Opinion:
16. Expert committees
17. Supreme Courts
18. Medical Associations
Part VI. Euthanasia by Omission
19. The Tony Bland case
20. The BMA guidance
21. The Winterton Bill
Part VII. Conclusions:
22. Conclusions
Afterword: the Diane Pretty case.