Document Detail

Towards the right to be killed? Treatment refusal, assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States and Canada.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8759232     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This chapter describes some dominant trends of American and Canadian law in relation to treatment refusal, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Although common law in both countries recognizes the right of patients to refuse treatment, problems have arisen, especially in the US, over treatment refusal on behalf of incompetent patients. One response has been to enact advance-directive legislation, promoting the use of living wills and proxy appointments. Courts have also specified criteria for withholding and withdrawing treatment from incompetent patients. The notion of a "right to die', developed in court cases on treatment refusal, is now being invoked to support the legalization of assisted suicide. Courts are generally reluctant to recognize an extention of this right. Debates and court cases following the recent initiative to legalize assisted suicide in Oregon and the Sue Rodriguez case in Canada's Supreme Court, which resulted in a special report of a Canadian Senate Committee, are of major importance for the development of law in this area.
T Lemmens
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British medical bulletin     Volume:  52     ISSN:  0007-1420     ISO Abbreviation:  Br. Med. Bull.     Publication Date:  1996 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-09-26     Completed Date:  1996-09-26     Revised Date:  2004-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376542     Medline TA:  Br Med Bull     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  341-53     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Centre de Recherche en Droit Public, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Euthanasia, Passive / legislation & jurisprudence*,  trends
Living Wills
Mental Competency
Quality of Life
Right to Die
Suicide, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*,  trends
Treatment Refusal / legislation & jurisprudence*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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