It is widely accepted now that a patient's right to refuse treatment extends to circumstances in which the exercise of that right may lead to the patient's death. However, it is also often effectively assumed, without argument, that this implies a patient's right to request another agent to intervene so as to bring about his or her death, in a way which would render that agent guilty of murder in the absence of such a request. But the right to refuse treatment can, logically, have no such implication, and the mistaken supposition that it does conflates a right to die with a right to be killed. Confusion over this issue is brought out by an examination of conflicting opinion concerning the permissible termination of ventilation for mentally competent patients. A wider lesson may be drawn regarding the need for the ethical assessment of new forms of life-sustaining medical technology.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
- Research Article
- Research Article
Other content recommended for you
- Mrs Pretty and Ms B
- The best interests of persistently vegetative patients: to die rather that to live?
- A simple solution to the puzzles of end of life? Voluntary palliated starvation
- Treatment-resistant depression and physician-assisted death
- The case of Ms B: suicide’s slippery slope?
- Three arguments against prescription requirements
- Impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on medical law
- The body as unwarranted life support: a new perspective on euthanasia
- Examining the ethico-legal aspects of the right to refuse treatment in Turkey
- When slippery slope arguments miss the mark: a lesson from one against physician-assisted death