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Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy : An Argument Against Legalisation - John Keown

Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy

An Argument Against Legalisation


Published: 17th November 2010
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Whether the law should permit voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is one of the most vital questions facing all modern societies. Internationally, the main obstacle to legalisation has proved to be the objection that, even if they were morally acceptable in certain 'hard cases', voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide could not be effectively controlled; society would slide down a 'slippery slope' to the killing of patients who did not make a free and informed request, or for whom palliative care would have offered an alternative. How cogent is this objection? This book provides the general reader (who need have no expertise in philosophy, law or medicine) with a lucid introduction to this central question in the debate, not least by reviewing the Dutch euthanasia experience. It will interest all in any country whether currently for or against legalisation, who wish to ensure that their opinions are better informed.

'... undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive critiques of euthanasia and, serves as a necessary counterbalance to the growing number of pro-euthanasia contributions. ... Lawyers and non-lawyers alike with an interest in end-of-life issues will therefore find this a stimulating addition to their undoubtedly well-stocked libraries.' New Law Journal 'John Keown's informed and powerful argument against euthanasia features both an excellent exposition of its pitfalls and a strong confrontation with a question that remains controversial abroad: Are there circumstances in which withdrawal of treatment should be considered euthanasia? The power of Keown's argument holds your interest while making you think. The lucidity of Keown's logic make this book a provocative and important contribution to the ethical and public policy issues involved in end-of-life care.' The Hastings Center Report '... the latest offering from John Keown ... succeeds admirably, rewarding anyone who takes the time to chew through it carefully with food for thought to titillate even the most refined intellectual palate ... The reader ... having taken the trouble to read Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy shall undoubtedly be better informed ... Keown has produced a well-structured, deeply ethically penetrating analysis of the issues, which also manages to be a thoroughly stimulating read. the book is to be welcomed as a most significant contribution to the debate.' Medical Law Review 'Keown's clarity of thought explodes myths and beats an accessible path through a detailed jungle of morality and social history.' British Medical Journal 'Keown ... has produced what is the best book in print on the case against the legalisation of euthanasia.' The Tablet '... written in a moderate and reasoned tone and in a manner easily understood whether you are a health care professional, lawyer, politician or just an interested member of the public ... required reading for anyone who intends to make a public statement in the euthanasia debate.' Roger Woodruff, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Newsletter 'A veritable tour de force through the controversies apparent in the modern euthanasia debate ... reads easily and coherently. ... it really does offer a comprehensive ethical and legal analysis of the main arguments from both sides of the debate.' Bulletin of Medical Ethics

'Voluntary euthanasia'
Intended v. foreseen life-shortening
'Physician-assisted suicide'
The Ethical Debate
The value of human life
Respecting the good of autonomy
Legal hypocrisy?
The 'slippery slope' argument
The Dutch Experience
The guidelines
The first survey: the incidence of euthanasia
Breach of the guidelines
The shift toward condonation of NVE
The second survey
The Dutch in denial?
Australia and the United States
The Northern Territory: ROTTI
Oregon: The Death with Dignity Act
Expert Opinion
Expert committees
Supreme Courts
Medical Associations
Euthanasia by Omission
The Tony Bland case
The BMA guidance
The Winterton Bill
Afterword: the Diane Pretty case
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521804165
ISBN-10: 0521804167
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 340
Published: 17th November 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 15.8  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.66