Euthanasia, Ethics and the Law argues that the law governing the ending of life in England and Wales is unclear, confused and often contradictory. The book shows that the rules are in competition because the ethical principles underlying the rules are also diverse and conflicting.
In mounting his case Richard Huxtable considers some familiar and topical debates, including assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, examining such situations as the Dianne Pretty litigation and Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. The book also enters some important, but less well-charted areas, looking at the advent of 'death tourism' and the real status of involuntary and passive euthanasia in English law, in addition to clarifying the confusion that surrounds the use of powerful painkillers like morphine. Dealing with both legal and ethical issues, the text concludes that the time has come to more openly adopt a compromise position - one that more honestly recognises and accommodates the competing values, whilst also restoring a measure of coherence to the law.
1. Judging the End(ing) of Life: Conflict and Confusion 2. Not Pretty: ‘Mercy Killing’ in Legal Fact and Legal Fiction 3. Assisted Suicide in ‘the Shadowy Area of Mercy Killing' 4. Get Out of Jail Free? Double Effect and Doctors in the Dock 5. Beyond Bland: Hedging Bets on the Value of Life? 6. Euthanasia and the Middle Ground: From Conflict to Compromise
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.