Assisted Dying explores the law relating to euthanasia and assisted suicide, tracing its development from prohibition through to the laissez faire attitude adopted in a number of countries in the 21st Century. This book provides an in-depth critique of the arguments surrounding legislative control of such practices and particularly looks into the regulatory role of the state. In the classical tradition of libertarianism, the state is generally presumed to have a remit to intervene where an individual’s actions threaten another, rather than harm the individuals themselves. This arguably leaves a question mark over the state’s determined intervention, in the UK and elsewhere, into the private and highly personal choices of individuals to die rather than live. The perceived role of the state in safeguarding the moral values of the community and the need for third party involvement in assisted suicide and euthanasia could be thought to raise these practices to a different level. These considerations may be in direct conflict with the so called right to die espoused by some individuals and groups within the community. However this book will argue that the state’s interests are and should be second to the interests that the people themselves have in choosing their own death.
Assisted Dying is winner of the The Minty Prize of the Society of Authors, and winner of the Royal Society of Medicine Book Awards, 2008
"In this excellent and well-reasoned text, Sheila Mclean outlines the debate about whether or not assisted dying should be legalized in the UK." - Hazel Biggs, Lancaster University, UK, Mortality, Volume 14, Issue 1, 2009
1. An Outline of the Debate 2. An Evaluation of the Arguments For and Against Legalisation 3. Choosing Death 4. Choosing Death For Others 5. The United Kingdom Position 6. Is there a way forward? 7. Conclusion
Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.
In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.