Disability, mental illness, and medical assistance in dying in Canada: Recent slippery slope and social determinants of health arguments miss the mark

By Jocelyn Downie and Udo Schuklenk In its 2015 landmark Carter decision, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that the blanket criminalisation of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) unjustifiably infringes on Canadians’ rights and declared that the prohibitions were: “of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person […]

Read More…

Medical assistance in dying—is there a case for including persons with mental illness?

By Nicholas Delva, Anees Bahji Over the last couple of decades, medical assistance in dying (MAiD) has become legal in a few developed countries. Developments in this area have been primarily driven by patients, with general support from the population. Governments have been cautious in the development of legislation, which is not surprising given that […]

Read More…

Enough already about conscientious objection in voluntary assisted dying – what about the conscientious participants?

By Jodhi Rutherford There is a copious literature on conscientious objection in voluntary assisted dying (VAD), also known as MAID, voluntary euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, or death with dignity. Yet, there has been relative silence in the bioethics literature on what might motivate ‘conscientious participation’ in VAD, whereby clinicians may actively, morally, and purposively support the […]

Read More…

Does euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide disrespect the disabled?

By Philip Reed. According to the way people commonly talk, laws and social practices can express certain messages. We might say that a strict immigration policy expresses an unwelcome message and disrespect to immigrants. Or a law that requires employers to provide paid family leave expresses encouragement for people to have children. This idea is […]

Read More…

Supreme Court rules on the first prosecution of a Dutch doctor since the euthanasia act

Eva C.A. Asscher and Suzanne van de Vathorst. On April 21st the Supreme Court passed judgement on the case of the first doctor to be prosecuted since the 2002 Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. In September 2019 a Dutch nursing home doctor performing euthanasia on a patient with severe […]

Read More…

Highest German court defends the constitutional right to (assisted) suicide

By Ruth Horn. On 26th April 2020, the German Constitutional Court overturned a law of 2015 prohibiting ‘any business-like assisted suicide’.  This included any potentially recurring suicide assistance that might be provided, with or without commercial interests, by a doctor, nurse, relative or member of a right-to-die organisation. Although suicide and therefore also assisted suicide […]

Read More…

Having a possible escape to end life at your own timing offers reassurance and changes the perspective on current and prospective suffering

By Martijn Hagens. In a recent blog, Ben Colburn discusses that ‘the option of assisted dying is good for you even if you don’t want to die. In the paper related to that blog, he argues that “if someone knows they have a (potentially) acceptable escape, it changes the character of the choice set as a […]

Read More…

Euthanasia please, we are Portuguese

By Vera Lúcia Raposo Recently, in spite of protests from conservatives and the Catholic Church, the Portuguese parliament approved five proposals aimed to allow medically assisted death (referred to as ‘anticipation of death’) at the patient’s request. The procedure requires specific conditions: patients of legal age, with incurable and fatal disease or permanent injury, and […]

Read More…

Caring for each other through the ethical challenges of MAiD in Canada

By Mary Kathleen Deutscher Heilman and Tracy J. Trothen Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) generates strong emotions among Canadians. What has been striking to us is the fact that while academics have been engaged in an epic battle about who has a right to what protections under the law, the average person seems to want […]

Read More…