Should the state support the 'right to die'?
The paper examines the complex moral and legal dimensions to legalising euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (E/PAS). The legality of suicide and illegality of E/PAS is highlighted. The morality of E/PAS rests on a series of debates that are briefly examined. They are focused on three themes: autonomy, suffering and conscience. While apart from strong religious grounds there seems no reasonable grounds not to legalise E/PAS, the protection of conscience - particularly the right of a health care professional to conscientiously object to performing E/PAS - should be protected.
Anthony Egan, Jesuit Institute - South Africa
euthanasia; physician assisted suicide; autonomy; conscience;suffering
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Date submitted: 2008-10-10
Date published: 2008-12-12
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