Book

Assisted Death

L. W. Sumner

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199607983
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729652 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199607983.001.0001
Assisted Death

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Ethical and legal issues concerning assisted suicide and euthanasia are very much on the public agenda in many jurisdictions. This book addresses these issues within the wider context of palliative care for patients in the dying process. Its ethical conclusion is that a bright line between assisted death and other widely accepted end‐of‐life practices, including the withdrawal of life‐sustaining treatment, pain control through high‐dose opioids, and terminal sedation, cannot be justified. In the course of the ethical argument many familiar themes are given careful and thorough treatment: conceptions of death, the badness of death, informed consent and refusal, suicide, cause of death, the double effect, the sanctity of life, the ‘active/passive’ distinction, advance directives, and non‐voluntary euthanasia. The legal discussion opens with a survey of some prominent prohibitionist and regulatory regimes and then outlines a model regulatory policy for assisted death. The book concludes by defending this policy against a wide range of common objections, including those which appeal to slippery slopes or the possibility of abuse, and by asking how the transition to a regulatory regime might be managed in three common law prohibitionist jurisdictions.

Keywords: death; end‐of‐life measures; palliative care; informed consent; treatment refusal; pain control; terminal sedation; assisted suicide; euthanasia; assisted death

Book.  248 pages. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Prologue in Assisted Death

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Consent and Refusal in Assisted Death

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Indirect Death in Assisted Death

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Death by Request in Assisted Death

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Deciding for Others in Assisted Death

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The Legal Landscape in Assisted Death

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Epilogue in Assisted Death

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