Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Physician-assisted death in England and Wales
Authors: Selvalingam, Melanie Ann Radhika
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The thesis examines if the recent legal developments on assisted death in England and Wales have addressed the needs of society and the concerns of those seeking an assisted death. Despite assisted suicide being a crime in England and Wales, many British citizens successfully obtain an assisted suicide by travelling abroad. With the help of loved ones, they patronise right-to-die organisations in jurisdictions with more permissive laws on suicide. Meanwhile, the prosecution of those who assist a suicide is subject to an uncertain discretion of the DPP, whose prosecuting policy effectively decriminalises ‘compassionate assisted suicides’. Inconsistencies in the law on assisted death between the legal prohibition of assisted suicide, and legally permitted end-of-life medical decisions will also be examined. Whilst assisted death is a crime, physicians are legally permitted to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment from patients. The extent to which a patient’s ‘quality of life’ has been a factor in these inconsistent decisions will be analysed. The thesis will show that the present prohibition against assisted suicide in England and Wales is legally and morally indefensible. Whilst investigating whether assisted suicide should be legalised in England and Wales, the thesis undertakes a comparative analysis of six jurisdictions from around the world. It also evaluates the ‘slippery slope’ argument, i.e. whether a law permitting assisted death for a restricted group of people would inevitably lead to assisted death being practised beyond that group. The thesis will conclude that there is a strong case for providing the legal option of physician-assisted suicide to patients experiencing a poor and unacceptable quality of life due to unbearable pain and suffering brought about by terminal illness.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle Law School

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Selvalingam, M. 14.pdfThesis4.1 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.