The Right to Be Allowed to Die
Lancet. 1984 Feb 11; 1(8372): 351-352.
Commenting on the California case of Elizabeth Bouvia, a quadreplegic who requested hospital assistance to alleviate suffering while she starved herself to death, Brahams expresses the hope that no patient in the United Kingdom will ever be forcibly fed against his or her wishes. Since passage of Britain's Suicide Act of 1961, taking one's own life is not a crime, although aiding a suicide is illegal. In a court case involving a book published by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, Mr. Justice Woolf ruled that giving the booklet to another person could amount to encouraging suicide. Brahams contends that provision of medical comfort does not constitute encouragement. She cites the British government's decision not to force feed IRA hunger strikers, the possibility that force feeding constitutes battery under British law, and a Florida court ruling that a patient had the right to decline life prolonging treatment. (KIE abstract)
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Brahams, Diana (1989-07-15)A Japanese government task force on the treatment of dying patients has issued recommendations that challenge Japan's medical traditions. The task force's report calls for telling patients the truth about their conditions. ...