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Year 3 - Ethics and Law > Assisted Suicide > Flashcards

Flashcards in Assisted Suicide Deck (17)
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Stance on physician assisted suicide, "The Vote"?

This House Believes that Doctors Assisting in or referring patients for physician assisted is contrary to all medical ethics and should never be made lawful


Define physician assisted suicide.

1) The voluntary termination of one's own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician.

2) Physician-assisted suicide is the practice of providing a competent patient with a prescription for medication for the patient to use with the primary intention of ending his or her own life.

3) Physician-assisted suicide is defined as ending the life of a person who is terminally ill in a way that is either painless or minimally painful for the purpose of ending suffering of the individual.


What is the legislation on physician assisted suicide?

The Suicide Act 1961
1) Suicide or attempting suicide ceased to be a crime (England and Wales)

2) Assigned criminal liability for complicity in another’s suicide (England and Wales)

3) Assigned criminality to acts capable of encouraging or assisting suicide (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)


Which states in America, as of 2016, authorise physician assisted suicide?

In 1997, the US Supreme Court ruled against endorsing physician assisted suicide as a constitutional right but allowed for individual states to enact laws that permit it to be done.

California, Oregon, Washington and Vermont allow it and a number of other states are reviewing it.


What is deemed to be more offensive physician or non-physician assisted suicide?

Non-physician assisted suicide even though the outcome is the same


What is death with dignity law?

A law in USA that allow qualified mentally competent, terminally ill adults to request a lethal dose of a prescription medication from their physician for the purpose of hastening their death.

The laws contain strict eligibility requirements, stringent procedures, and tough safeguards.


Which countries allow euthanasia?

- Belgium
- Columbia
- Luxemburg
- The Netherlands


Which countries allow physician assisted suicide?

- Belgium
- Canada
- Finland
- Germany
- Luxemburg
- The Netherlands
- Switzerland


What is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide?

Euthanasia = Administration of a drug that will led to death

Assisted suicide = Providing the means for someone else to comment suicide e.g. providing the drugs


What is thought to have occurred as a negative result of euthanasia in the Netherlands?

There is decreased access to hospice/palliative care


What is Switzerlands stance on euthanasia?

Euthanasia is illegal:
- Article 114 of the Penal code state any person who for commendable motives/compassion for the victim is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding 3 years
- Article 115 of the penal code states that anyone assisting suicide for selfish motives is subject of up to 5 years in prison


What is Switzerlands stance on physician assisted suicide

If the is good intentions and the person does not commit the act that leads to death then this is allowable.


What must be in place for an advance directive in refusal of life sustaining treatment to be legally warranted?

Firstly: The individual must have full capacity at the time of the advance directive. It must me in writing, signed and witness and include a clear written statement that it applies to the specific treatment, even if life is at risk.

Secondly: It must be valid at the time it is put into effect. If there is evidence to suggest the person has changed his/her mind this would invalidate the advance directive.

Thirdly: Must be applicable to current circumstances. If it does not specify the treatment that is now proposed, or if the circumstances envisaged at the time of writing have changed, the the advance directive is not valid. Length of time should be considered and changes in personal life


The Mental Capacity act, 2005?

Statute law of the right of an adult with capacity to make an advance directive to refuse specific treatment at a point in the future where they lack capacity. Certain criteria must be met to determine if an advance directive is legally binding


If someone attempts suicide what needs to be considered before treatment?

- Advance directive
- Suicide note
- Current capacity of the patient


What can occur if someone goes against an individual wishes to die?

- Claim to damages for battery
- Criminal charge of assault


If a doctor is not satisfied, based on the information available about an advance directive what should they do?

They can provide treatment in the best interests of the patient

They must be prepared to justify their decision wit careful documentation of the reasons why

In genuine doubt an application through the trust legal department to the Court of Protection for determination can be made. Urgent cases are considered quickly, 24 hrs/day