An analysis of the grey area in the legal system on assisted death

Xingzhou Zhu Daily Trojan Last November, year-old Sanders took a shotgun and fatally shot his wife, who he said had begged to be killed. This past week, Sanders was given probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. To some, Sanders got away with murder.

An analysis of the grey area in the legal system on assisted death

The common key features and differences between these instruments are summarised below: Enduring powers of attorney or guardianship allow a person to appoint one or more agents to make decisions about the provision or refusal of medical treatment if and when that person has impaired decision-making capacity.

In Victoria, an agent or guardian may only refuse medical treatment on behalf of a patient if the medical treatment would cause unreasonable distress to the patient, or there are reasonable grounds for believing that the patient, if competent, and after giving serious consideration to his or her health and well-being, would consider that the medical treatment is unwarranted.

One year after making the directive Mr A was admitted to a hospital emergency department in a critical state with a decreased level of consciousness. His condition deteriorated to the point that he was being kept alive by mechanical ventilation and kidney dialysis.

The hospital sought a judicial declaration to determine the validity of his advance directive. McDougall J confirmed that the directive was valid and held that the hospital must respect this decision.

His Honour stated and applied the common law principle that: A person may make an 'advance care directive': If an advance care directive is made by a capable adult, and it is clear and unambiguous, and extends to the situation at hand, it must be respected. It would be a battery to administer medical treatment to the person of a kind prohibited by the advance care directive.

Mr Rossiter was not terminally ill, dying or in a vegetative state and had full mental capacity. Martin CJ considered the position at common law and concluded: They are to the effect that Mr Rossiter has the right to determine whether or not he will continue to receive the services and treatment provided by Brightwater and, at common law, Brightwater would be acting unlawfully by continuing to provide treatment [namely the administration of nutrition and hydration via a tube inserted into his stomach] contrary to Mr Rossiter's wishes.

Further research is needed to confirm the current common law position in relation to passive voluntary euthanasia practices. Generally, however, the Australian context reflects trends in comparable international jurisdictions, as shown by the following overview of comparative regulation and jurisprudence.

These instruments allow competent adults to state, in advance, that they do not wish to be kept alive by medical treatment in the latter stages of terminal illness.

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in The Netherlands

British Colombia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia [53] have enacted legislation that permits people to make advance directives variously termed. While the regulatory approach varies between Australian states and territories, all states and territories permit people, in one form or another, to formally communicate their wishes in end of life situations, an approach reflected by international practice.

Passive voluntary euthanasia thus appears to be largely accepted within current medical practice and, in most jurisdictions, generally recognised and permitted by lawdespite the refusal of medical practitioners and policy makers to describe these activities in such terms.

Thus, unlike passive euthanasia, in which the cause of death is the underlying disease or condition, with active voluntary euthanasia the death results from the action of a medical professional or other party. As will be explored in section 4.

When the medical profession becomes involved in killing, the delicate trust relationship between a patient and doctor is undermined. People trust their lives to doctors and health care workers in the knowledge that they are dedicated to the preservation of life, to healing, to caring. This after all is the basis of the Hippocratic tradition.

Euthanasia, human rights and the law | Australian Human Rights Commission

The Hippocratic Oath includes the commitment not to kill a patient, even if the patient requests such a course. A number of people submitted to the Senate Inquiry that the introduction of voluntary euthanasia would undermine investment in, as well as the role and value placed on, palliative care.

Rather, it is providing care and support, letting the natural processes take their course and choosing to withdraw therapies that are not reasonable or not helpful. Specifically, the concern is that the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia in terminal cases would then lead to the practice of other forms of euthanasia such as involuntary euthanasia or voluntary euthanasia in non-terminal cases.

That is not voluntary euthanasia. For example, Professor Margaret Otlowski argued that: The most commonly cited objection to the legalisation of active voluntary euthanasia is the 'slippery slope' argument: This is, however, a completely unsubstantiated argument.

The 'slippery slope' argument is typically made without regard to the risks of abuse or other problems involved in retaining the present law. From my understanding, in Oregon they have had this legislation for 17 years and they have done studies which have shown that this slippery slope you are referring to does not exist.

It is a scaremongering tool used by those who are ideologically opposed to the proposed legislation and who will do anything they can to stop the law. We in Christians Supporting Choice side with loving compassion and mercy and not with religious dogmatic adherence to a particular point of viewThe Right To Choose How To Die: A Constitutional Analysis of State Laws Prohibiting Physician-Assisted Suicide David L.

Sloss* Physician-assisted suicide (PAE) is an emotionally charged issue that state. Jul 29,  · Death by request in The Netherlands: facts, the legal context and effects on physicians, patients and families G. K. Kimsma 1, 2 1 Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, De Boelelaan , HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The University of Southern Mississippi. Attitudes of Clinically Practicing Registered Nurses in Southern Mississippi Toward Physician-Assisted Death. Due to structural features deliberately built into the Constitution and legal process, what appears to be a rigid ban on doctor-assisted death is actually far more nuanced.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was about enabling physician-assisted death under specified circumstances. But Section (b) applies to anyone who assists in a suicide — not just doctors. I suspect the old law still applies to anyone who is not a medical professional — but again, there’s that uncertainty.

Euthanasia, human rights and the law.

An analysis of the grey area in the legal system on assisted death

May ISSUES PAPER. Table of Contents. 1 Introduction; and whether it is incidental to or causative of a ‘hastened’ death, remains a grey area in the absence of express determination by the courts. Further research would need to be undertaken to confirm whether this has been determined.

Assisted death and the law | Fin24