Bioethics for Clinicians: 11. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Lavery, James V.
Dickens, Bernard M.
Boyle, Joseph M.
Singer, Peter A.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1997 May 15; 156(10): 1405-1408.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide involve taking deliberate action to end or assist in ending the life of another person on compassionate grounds. There is considerable disagreement about the acceptability of these acts and about whether they are ethically distinct from decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are punishable offences under Canadian criminal law, despite increasing public pressure for a more permissive policy. Some Canadian physicians would be willing to practise euthanasia and assisted suicide if these acts were legal. In practice, physicians must differentiate between respecting competent decisions to forgo treatment, providing appropriate palliative care, and acceeding to a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Physicians who believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide should be legally accepted in Canada should pursue their convictions only through legal and democratic means.
Active Euthanasia; Aged; Allowing to Die; Assisted Suicide; Attitudes; Autonomy; Bioethics; Competence; Criminal Law; Decision Making; Euthanasia; Intention; International Aspects; Law; Legal Aspects; Life; Organizational Policies; Organizations; Pain; Palliative Care; Patients; Physicians; Professional Organizations; Public Policy; Rights; Suffering; Suicide; Terminally Ill; Treatment Refusal; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wedge Argument; Withholding Treatment;
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