Heightened risk to the vulnerable from legalised ‘assisted dying’?

Research into the impact of legalisation on patients in vulnerable groups.

In 2007 a report was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics by Professor Margaret Battin and others into the impact on vulnerable groups of people of legalisation of physician-assisted suicide (the US State of Oregon) or physician-administered euthanasia (The Netherlands).  The report concluded that, where such practices are legal, there is no current evidence to support the claim that legalisation has disproportionate impact on patients in vulnerable groups. Those who received physician-assisted dying in the jurisdictions studied appeared to enjoy comparative social, economic, educational, professional and other privileges.

A copy of the report is provided here.  It should be read alongside a critique by Professors Ilora Finlay and Rob George, also published in the Journal of Medical Ethics and also provided on this website, which calls into question the methodology of the research and questions its conclusions. 


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