The euthanasia debate in the House of Lords

John Keown

in The Law and Ethics of Medicine

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199589555
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741036 | DOI:
The euthanasia debate in the House of Lords

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This chapter highlights the valuable contribution to the euthanasia debate made by the House of Lords. Its focus is the report in 2005 by a House of Lords Select Committee, chaired by Lord Mackay, which considered the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill introduced by Lord Joffe. The chapter considers the strengths and weaknesses of the report. It notes that while the Committee garnered much useful information about the law and practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands and of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon, its report is too uncritical of the experience of those jurisdictions, not least because the witnesses who testified before the Committee contained relatively few critics. The chapter adds that the Committee usefully identified several weaknesses in Lord Joffe’s Bill, weaknesses which help to explain why the Bill was subsequently rejected by the House.

Keywords: euthanasia; House of Lords; Joffe; Mackay; Netherlands; Oregon

Chapter.  17492 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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