Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Comparison of EU and U.S. Law
University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law
April 16, 2012
Syracuse Law Review, 2013
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 12-11
This paper examines the controversial and complex issues of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS). I begin by defining and distinguishing these two terms and explain how they relate to each other. I also describe the medical doctrine of double effect, in which relieving pain comes at the expense of hastening death. Then, I give a brief overview of the common law defense of necessity, which is practically the sole defense available to or used by physicians accused of committing euthanasia or PAS. Finally, I analyze the legal doctrines of euthanasia and PAS, focusing on legislation and cases in the European Union — primarily the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Switzerland — and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and Montana.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: euthanasia, euthanatica, physician-assisted suicide, PAS, double effect, necessityAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 17, 2012 ; Last revised: October 3, 2013
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