Bioethics 30 (9):663-671 (2016)

Abstract
The view that voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide should be made available for terminal patients only is typically warranted by reference to the risks that the procedures are seen to involve. Though they would appear to involve similar risks, the commonly endorsed end-of-life practices referred to as passive euthanasia are available also for non-terminal patients. In this article, I assess whether there is good reason to believe that the risks in question would be bigger in the case of voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide than in that of passive euthanasia. I propose that there is not. On that basis, I suggest that limiting access to voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide to terminal patients only is not consistent with accepting the existing practices of passive euthanasia.
Keywords voluntary active euthanasia  voluntary passive euthanasia  non‐voluntary passive euthanasia  terminal patient  Non‐terminal patient  physician‐assisted suicide
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12282
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