Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legalisation

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Cambridge University Press, 25.04.2002 - 318 Seiten
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.
 

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Inhalt

Voluntary euthanasia
9
Intended v foreseen lifeshortening
18
Physicianassisted suicide
31
The ethical debate human life autonomy legal hypocrisy and the slippery slope
37
The value of human life
39
The value of autonomy
52
Legal hypocrisy?
58
The slippery slope arguments
70
The Northern Territory ROTTI
153
Oregon the Death with Dignity Act
167
Expert opinion
181
Expert committees
183
Supreme Courts
191
Medical associations
208
Passive euthanasia withholdingwithdrawing treatment and tubefeeding with intent to kill
215
The Tony Bland case
217

The Dutch experience controlling VAE? condoning NVAE?
81
The guidelines
83
The first Survey the incidence of euthanasia
91
Breach of the guidelines
103
The slide towards NVAE
115
The second Survey
125
The Dutch in denial?
136
Australia and the United States
151
Beyond Bland the BMA guidance on withholdingwithdrawing medical treatment
239
The Winterton Bill
260
Conclusions
273
Afterword
282
Bibliography
292
Index
303
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