Giving Death a Helping Hand: Physician-Assisted Suicide and Public Policy. An International Perspective

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Dieter Birnbacher, Edgar Dahl
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 22, 2008 - Medical - 157 pages
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If it comes to choosing between methods of last resort for severely suffering, physician-assisted suicide will probably prove more acceptable as a method of last resort than active euthanasia both to patients, to legislators and to the general public. From the perspective of patients, physician-assisted is a more unambiguous expression of the patient's autonomous will. From the legislator's perspective it seems less liable to misuse and abuse. And often the availability of assisted suicide, instead of shortening the life of a patient, has proved to prolong it. Public policy has begun to respond to this prospect. Notably in Switzerland and Germany, the attitudes of public bodies towards physician-assisted suicide are in a process of change, partly motivated by the wish to take the edge off the pressure for legalisation of active euthanasia.

The present volume focuses on public policy issues related to physician-assisted suicide. It offers a detailed analysis of the current legal standing and practice of physician-assisted suicide in various countries and discusses the ethical principles underlying its legal and professional regulation. In addition, it contains a number of personal narratives by professionals who have for many years been involved in end-of-life issues.

 

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Contents

Preface
v
PhysicianAssisted Suicide and Public Policy
2
Should PhysicianAssisted Suicide Be Legalized ?
3
Slippery Slopes and PhysicianAssisted Suicide
10
PhysicianAssisted Suicide and the Medical Associations
23
Safe Legal Rare? PhysicianAssisted Suicide and Cultural Change in the Future
37
A Comparison of Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking Terminal Sedation PhysicianAssisted Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia
48
PhysicianAssisted Suicide An International Perspective
65
PhysicianAssisted Suicide in the Netherlands and Belgium
76
PhysicianAssisted Suicide and the German Criminal Law
87
PhysicianAssisted Death An Australian Perspective
97
The View from the United Kingdom
113
PhysicianAssisted Suicide Narratives from Professional and Personal Experience
129
A Doctors Perspective
130
A Personal Report
141
The European Convention on Human Rights Protects the Right to Suicide
149

PhysicianAssisted Suicide in Oregon
67

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Page ii - DAVID N. WEISSTUB, Universite de Montreal, Canada THOMASINE KIMBROUGH KUSHNER, University of California, Berkeley, USA Editor DAVID N. WEISSTUB, Universite de Montreal, Canada Editorial Board TERRY CARNEY, University of Sydney, Australia MARCUS DUWELL, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands S0REN HOLM, University of Cardiff, Wale s.
Page ii - GERRIT K. KIMSMA, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands DAVID NOVAK, University of Toronto, Canada EDMUND D. PELLEGRINO, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA DOM RENZO PEGORARO, Fondazione Lanza and University of Padua, Italy DANIEL P.

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