How should Australia regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide?

White, Benjamin P. & Willmott, Lindy (2012) How should Australia regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide? Journal of Law and Medicine, 20, pp. 410-438.

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Abstract

This paper invites consideration of how Australia should regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. We have attempted to pose this question as neutrally as possible, acknowledging that both prohibition and legalisation of such conduct involve decisions about regulation. We begin by charting the wider field of law at the end of life, before considering the repeated, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempts at law reform in Australia. The situation in Australia is contrasted with permissive jurisdictions overseas where voluntary euthanasia and/or assisted suicide are lawful. We consider the arguments for and against legalisation of such conduct along with the available empirical evidence as to what happens in practice both in Australia and overseas. The paper concludes by outlining a framework for deliberating on how Australia should regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. We ask a threshold question of whether such conduct should be criminal acts (as they presently are), the answer to which then leads to a range of possible regulatory options.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 57057
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Voluntary euthanasia, Assisted suicide, Law reform, Health law, Medical law, End of life decision making, Australia 21
ISSN: 1320-159X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Criminal Law and Procedure (180110)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2013 01:13
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2013 22:55

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