Towards euthanasia in Europe?: Marty, <i>Pretty</i>, and <i>Purdy</i>

John Keown

in The Law and Ethics of Medicine

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199589555
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741036 | DOI:
Towards euthanasia in Europe?: Marty, Pretty, and Purdy

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This chapter considers three significant developments relevant to the euthanasia debate in Europe: the report by a committee of the Council of Europe, chaired by Mr Dick Marty; the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Pretty; and the decision of the UK Supreme Court in Purdy. The chapter offers a critique of the Marty report and responds to a defence of the report by Guy Widdershoven. The chapter then analyses Pretty, commending the European Court’s decision to uphold, under Article 8(2) of the European Convention, English law’s blanket ban on assisting suicide, but questioning the Court’s cryptic implication that the ban engaged Pretty’s right to private life under Article 8(1). The chapter concludes by suggesting that the decision of the UK Supreme Court’s in Purdy is inconsistent with Pretty and undermines the law’s blanket ban on assisting suicide.

Keywords: euthanasia; Europe; human rights; Article 8; Marty; Pretty; Purdy

Chapter.  14392 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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