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Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy
  • 2nd edition
  • John Keown, Georgetown University, Washington DC
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    Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy
    • Online ISBN: 9781107337909
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Book description

This book argues against the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide on the ground that, even if they were ethically defensible in certain 'hard cases', neither could be effectively controlled by law. It maintains that the experience of legalisation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon lends support to the two 'slippery slope' arguments against legalisation, the 'empirical' and the 'logical'. The empirical argument challenges the feasibility of drafting and enforcing adequate safeguards against abuse and mistake; the logical argument shows that acceptance of the case for euthanasia in the case of suffering patients who request it logically involves acceptance of euthanasia for suffering patients who are unable to request it, such as infants and those with advanced dementia.


'… magisterial …'

Lord Judge - former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

'A masterly analysis of the results of legalisation. Future discussions can, and must, be evidence-based.'

Baroness Onora O’Neill - Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, and former Principal of Newnham College, University of Cambridge

'Though it hardly seems possible, this updating of the classic text on the quintessential issue in modern medicine has made its analysis of the ethical and legal issues in euthanasia even more trenchant and illuminating.'

Alexander M. Capron - Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Southern California, and former Director of Ethics and Health Law at the World Health Organization

'John Keown is undoubtedly one of the all-time leading writers on assisted suicide and euthanasia. He writes with great power and clarity.'

Yale Kamisar - Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan

'Written with a clear and brilliant exposition of difficult problems, Silvana Sciarra combines in this book her deep academic knowledge and her experience as judge of the Italian Constitutional Court offering to the reader a sharp analysis of the reciprocal influence of European sources and national legal systems of labour Law.'

Guido Alpa - Sapienza Università di Roma

Praise for the first edition:'… the best book in print on the case against the legalisation of euthanasia.'

Source: The Tablet

Praise for the first edition:'… a most significant contribution to the debate …'

Source: Medical Law Review

Praise for the first edition:'Keown's clarity of thought explodes myths and beats an accessible path through a detailed jungle of morality and social history.'

Source: British Medical Journal

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