How Should Australia Regulate Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide?

Journal of Law and Medicine, 20, pp. 410-438, 2012

Posted: 10 Jul 2016

See all articles by Ben White

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This paper invites consideration of how Australia should regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. We have attempted to pose this question as neutrally as possible, acknowledging that both prohibition and legalisation of such conduct involve decisions about regulation. We begin by charting the wider field of law at the end of life, before considering the repeated, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempts at law reform in Australia. The situation in Australia is contrasted with permissive jurisdictions overseas where voluntary euthanasia and/or assisted suicide are lawful. We consider the arguments for and against legalisation of such conduct along with the available empirical evidence as to what happens in practice both in Australia and overseas. The paper concludes by outlining a framework for deliberating on how Australia should regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. We ask a threshold question of whether such conduct should be criminal acts (as they presently are), the answer to which then leads to a range of possible regulatory options.

Keywords: Voluntary euthanasia, Assisted suicide, Law reform, Health law, Medical law, End of life decision making, Australia 21

Suggested Citation

White, Ben and Willmott, Lindy, How Should Australia Regulate Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide? (2012). Journal of Law and Medicine, 20, pp. 410-438, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806817

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/willmott/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
188
PlumX Metrics