Campaigns in support of assisted dying seem to be predicated on an excessively rosy view of society and the individuals within it, says Iona Heath, writing in a personal capacity.
Support for assisted dying is based on respect for individual autonomy, yet the influence that one person can have on another makes legislation to permit assisted dying intrinsically risky.
The author is the president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK.
Critical Observations and Suggestions for Improvement
ABSTRACT: The essay opens with some background information about the context of euthanasia in Belgium. It proceeds by discussing the Belgian law on euthanasia and concerns about the law, its interpretations and implementation. Finally, the major developments and controversies since the law came into effect are discussed. Suggestions as to how to improve the Belgian law and circumscribe the practice of euthanasia are made, urging Be...
Professor in the Faculty of Medicine Founding Director of the Faculty of Law's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University
Which terms are used?
Is the euthanasia debate best by confusion?
"Euthanasia by Confusion" (1997) 20:3 University of New South Wales Law Journal 550-575; abbreviated version also published in Policy Options, 1997, 18(10):21-24; in The Advocate, 1998, 56 (6): 875-884; in Review Catholic Health Association of Canada, 1998; 26(1):3-10
Based on texts which have already been submitted during the previous legislature, three further proposals (put forward by Mme Karin Jiroflée et al, sp.A), seeking to modify the law of May 28, 2002 on euthanasia, have just recently been laid before the Chamber of Belgian Deputies, without any specific deadline for their adoption having for the moment been defined.
The first proposal (Doc 54 1013/001) aims to authorize the act of euthanasia for patients who are unable to express their wishes ...