Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Published by Dove Medical Press

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The debate on legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide has a broad range of participants including physicians, scholars in ethics and health law, politicians, and the general public.

Medicolegal and Bioethics has published the review “Euthanasia and assisted suicide: a physician’s and ethicist’s perspectives”.

As corresponding author Dr Boudreau says “The article ‘Euthanasia and assisted suicide: a physician's and ethicist's perspectives’ is very timely. A few countries have legalized euthanasia and some US states physician-assisted suicide. Others are currently exploring these options. The authors contend that what each society decides regarding this issue will represent its most important values decision of the 21st century. The article is structured as a review. It provides relevant basic definitions; surveys the issues that preoccupy patients at the end-of life and the common motivations for requesting a hastened death; outlines the most prominent arguments advanced by proponents and opponents of euthanasia, and; emphasizes that legalizing euthanasia is not just an issue to be decided at the level of individuals who request it.”

Dr Boudreau continues “It is argued that because euthanasia and assisted-suicide have major institutional and societal consequences, they must also be analyzed at those levels. The latter includes a discussion of the practical and logical slippery slopes – the abuse of legalized physician-assisted death and the expansion of the situations in which it may be used, respectively. The authors believe that euthanasia is inherently wrong, that is, cannot be justified; even on a utilitarian analysis, it is unjustifiable as its risks and harms far outweigh any benefits. The article has two main thrusts. Physician involvement in assisted-suicide is antithetical to their role as healers. The legalization of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide makes the institutions of law and medicine, which are the main carriers of the value of respect for human life in secular societies, complicit in intentionally inflicting death, and thereby is destructive of their capacity to carry this value.”

Medicolegal and Bioethics is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal exploring the application of law to medical and drug research and practice and the related ethical and moral considerations. The journal is characterized by the rapid reporting of reviews, case reports, guidelines and consensus statements, original research and surveys.

Dove Medical Press Ltd is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

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Angela Jones
Dove Medical Press
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