Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Comparison of EU and U.S. Law

17 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2012 Last revised: 3 Oct 2013

Stephen Hoffman

Hoffman Law Office, P.C.; University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: April 16, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: euthanasia, euthanatica, physician-assisted suicide, PAS, double effect, necessity

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Stephen, Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Comparison of EU and U.S. Law (April 16, 2012). Syracuse Law Review, 2013; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 12-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2041561 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2041561

Stephen P. Hoffman (Contact Author)

Hoffman Law Office, P.C. ( email )

1670 S. Robert St. #290
West St. Paul, MN 55118
United States
(651) 237-9890 (Phone)
(651) 237-9890 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sphoffmanlaw.com

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
560
Rank
38,842
Abstract Views
2,307