A role for doctors in assisted dying? An analysis of legal regulations and medical professional positions in six European countries

Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (1):28-32 (2008)

Abstract
Objectives: To analyse legislation and medical professional positions concerning the doctor’s role in assisted dying in western Europe, and to discuss their implications for doctors.Method: This paper is based on country-specific reports by experts from European countries where assisted dying is legalised , or openly practiced , or where it is illegal .Results: Laws on assisted dying in The Netherlands and Belgium are restricted to doctors. In principle, assisted suicide is not illegal in either Germany or Switzerland, but a doctor’s participation in Germany would violate the code of professional medical conduct and might contravene of a doctor’s legal duty to save life. The Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill proposed in the UK in 2005 focused on doctors, whereas the Proposal on Assisted Dying of the Norwegian Penal Code Commission minority in 2002 did not.Professional medical organisations in all these countries except The Netherlands maintain the position that medical assistance in dying conflicts with the basic role of doctors. However, in Belgium and Switzerland, and for a time in the UK, these organisations dropped their opposition to new legislation. Today, they regard the issue as primarily a matter for society and politics. This “neutral” stance differs from the official position of the Royal Dutch Medical Association which has played a key role in developing the Dutch practice of euthanasia as a “medical end-of-life decision” since the 1970s.Conclusion: A society moving towards an open approach to assisted dying should carefully identify tasks to assign exclusively to medical doctors, and distinguish those possibly better performed by other professions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2006.018911
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,355
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Inappropriate Conclusions in Research on Assisted Dying.L. J. Materstvedt - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (4):272-272.
“Medical Friendships” in Assisted Dying.Chalmers C. Clark & Gerrit K. Kimsma - 2004 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 13 (1):61-67.
The Suicide Tourist Trap: Compromise Across Boundaries. [REVIEW]Richard Huxtable - 2009 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3):327-336.
Why I Wrote... Assisted Dying and Legal Change.P. Lewis - 2008 - Clinical Ethics 3 (2):95-98.
Assisted Dying and Legal Change – Penney Lewis.David Archard - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):215-216.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-24

Total views
36 ( #251,966 of 2,286,100 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #413,560 of 2,286,100 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature