Prospective Legal Immunity and Assistance with Dying: Submission to the Commission on Assisted Dying

King’s Law Journal, Vol. 23, 2012, pp.181-193

King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2016-08

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2015 Last revised: 25 Jan 2016

See all articles by Roger Brownsword

Roger Brownsword

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Penney J. Lewis

King's College London

Genevra Richardson

King's College London

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

In this paper, our principal purpose is to elaborate and assess the case for introducing a regime of prospective legal immunity for a person, A, who assists with the suicide of another, B, where A acts within the terms of an appropriate covering licence (or authorisation). The attraction of such a regime is twofold: first, it promises to clarify the legal position of A before A undertakes acts of assistance to B; and, secondly, it promises to improve whatever assessments we can make as to B's potential vulnerability (in relation to A or others). Notwithstanding the attractions of such a regime, we do not support a scheme that is entirely prospective. The way forward, we believe, involves a judicious mix of prospective and retrospective (reporting and reviewing) elements.

Keywords: assisted suicide, assisted dying, physician-assisted suicide, prospective legal immunity, prospective approval, criminal law

Suggested Citation

Brownsword, Roger and Lewis, Penney and Richardson, Genevra, Prospective Legal Immunity and Assistance with Dying: Submission to the Commission on Assisted Dying (2012). King’s Law Journal, Vol. 23, 2012, pp.181-193, King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2016-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2636353

Roger Brownsword

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Penney Lewis (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
+44 20 7848 1103 (Phone)
+44 20 7848 2465 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/law/people/academic/plewis.aspx

Genevra Richardson

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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