This papers examines why the law concerns itself with euthanasia. The nature of the right to life and its protection in law is explored. Such a right demands legal intervention to prohibit, or at least control, involuntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is not a violation of the individual's right to life as such, so on what grounds can law limit autonomy by prohibiting such conduct? It is suggested that, while concepts of sanctity of life still play a part in the legal debate, fears of abuse in any scheme for voluntary euthanasia largely explain the reluctance of many jurisdictions to follow the example of The Netherlands. Finally, the paper asks whether reform and regulation of voluntary euthanasia are as attractive options as they are sometimes portrayed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||British Medical Bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|