Prosecutorial Guidelines for Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Autonomy, Public Confidence and High Quality Decision-Making
51 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2012
This article proposes offence-specific guidelines for how prosecutorial discretion should be exercised in cases of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. Similar guidelines have been produced in England and Wales but we consider them to be deficient in a number of respects, including that they lack a set of coherent guiding principles. In light of these concerns, we outline an approach to constructing alternative guidelines that begins with identifying three guiding principles that we argue are appropriate for this purpose: respect for autonomy, the need for high quality prosecutorial decision-making and the importance of public confidence in that decision-making.
Keywords: Voluntary euthanasia, Assisted suicide, Prosecutorial discretion, Criminal prosecution, End of life decision making
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