Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legalisation
By: John Keown (author)Paperback
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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.
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.
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- ID: 9780521009331
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