Voluntary Active Euthanasia and the Doctrine of Double Effect: A View from Germany

Health Care Analysis 12 (3):225-240 (2004)
This paper discusses physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and voluntary active euthanasia (VAE), supplies a short history and argues in favour of permitting both once rigid criteria have been set and the cases retro-reviewed. I suggest that among these criteria should be that VAE should only be permitted with one more necessary criterion: that VAE should only be allowed when physician assisted suicide is not a possible option. If the patient is able to ingest and absorb the medication there is no reason why VAE should be permitted. A brief history of VAE and PAS is given and some of the arguments which have been given are analyzed. The Principle of the Double Effect is briefly discussed and why, in my opinion, it is not a valid principle is briefly discussed.
Keywords physician-assisted suicide  voluntary active euthanasia  rights  interests  intention  principle of double effect
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DOI 10.1023/B:HCAN.0000044929.45563.4f
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