Prosecutorial Guidelines for Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Autonomy, Public Confidence and High Quality Decision-Making

51 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2016

See all articles by Ben White

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

White, Ben and Downie, Jocelyn, Prosecutorial Guidelines for Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Autonomy, Public Confidence and High Quality Decision-Making (2012). Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 36, pp. 656-705, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806821

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/

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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