Intention and Causation in Medical Non-Killing: The Impact of Criminal Law Concepts on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Intention and Causation in Medical Non-Killing

The Impact of Criminal Law Concepts on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 1st Edition

By Glenys Williams


244 pages

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Paperback: 9780415423021
pub: 2006-12-21
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pub: 2006-12-21
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pub: 2007-03-06
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Analyzing the concepts of intention and causation in euthanasia, this timely new book explores a broad selection of disciplines, including criminal and medical law, medical ethics, philosophy and social policy and suggests an alternative solution to the one currently used by the courts, based on grading different categories of killing into a formalized justificatory defence.

This text explores how culpability, blameworthiness and liability are ascribed and how ascertaining mens rea and actus reus are problematic in an end-of-life decision-making scenario. Williams criticizes the way the courts rely so exclusively on the criminal concepts of intention and causation in such medical scenarios and examines and raises awareness of the inadequate and inappropriate legal framework within in which judges have to operate.

Topical and compelling, this significant contribution argues for a more open and honest approach which would, in turn, provide the certainty, consistency and equality required by the law.

This is a quintessential read for all students studying medical and healthcare law and the legal aspects of health and medicine.

Table of Contents

The Concept of Intention. The Principle of Double Effect. Acts and Omissions. Causation. Is a Patient who Refuses Treatment Committing Suicide? Does a Doctor who Withdraws Treatment Assist in a Patient's Suicide? Reforms and the Future

About the Author

Glenys Williams is at the Department of Law, University of Wales Aberystwyth.

About the Series

Biomedical Law and Ethics Library

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Right to Die
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation