Chapter

Ethics and euthanasia

Clive Seale

in Ethics

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347558
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302216 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347558.003.0019
Ethics and euthanasia

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Public support for laws that allow medical practitioners to end life by active measures has risen in recent years, but the medical profession in the UK has been reluctant to endorse this development. The obvious benefits to a few people who experience extremes of suffering towards the end of life need to be balanced against the interests of those who might feel pressurised to opt for death in a society where euthanasia becomes an acceptable and well-known solution to the problems of old age. Additionally, the effect on practitioners (usually doctors) who are called on to administer lethal treatments requires consideration. This chapter reports surveys of the relatives and friends of people who have died, as well as surveys of medical practitioners, to provide empirical evidence that deepens understanding of how moral and ethical dilemmas play themselves out in practice.

Keywords: end of life; medical practitioners; ethical dilemmas; moral dilemmas

Chapter.  5044 words. 

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