The death by assisted suicide in Switzerland of Australian Dr. John Elliott, in early 2007 has highlighted the inadequacy of the law pertaining to medical decisions at end-of-life, both from a legal as well as ethical perspective. Despite being illegal in most jurisdictions around the world, physician-assisted death is a reality, in part because of the flexibility, inconsistent application and, at times, invisibility, of laws surrounding it. The appropriate response to this should be greater transparency by a reform of the law.
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The author thanks Prof. Bernadette McSherry, Faculty of Law, Monash University, for her review and comments on a prior draft of this article.
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Rothschild, A. Just When You Thought the Euthanasia Debate Had Died. Bioethical Inquiry 5, 69–78 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-008-9084-7
- Physician-assisted suicide
- Law and ethics
- End-of-life decisions
- Withdrawing and withholding of treatment
- Palliative treatment
- Terminal sedation