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The Law and Ethics of MedicineEssays on the Inviolability of Human Life$
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John Keown

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589555.001.0001

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The euthanasia debate in the House of Lords

The euthanasia debate in the House of Lords

(p.235) Chapter 9 The euthanasia debate in the House of Lords
The Law and Ethics of Medicine

John Keown

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the valuable contribution to the euthanasia debate made by the House of Lords. Its focus is the report in 2005 by a House of Lords Select Committee, chaired by Lord Mackay, which considered the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill introduced by Lord Joffe. The chapter considers the strengths and weaknesses of the report. It notes that while the Committee garnered much useful information about the law and practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands and of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon, its report is too uncritical of the experience of those jurisdictions, not least because the witnesses who testified before the Committee contained relatively few critics. The chapter adds that the Committee usefully identified several weaknesses in Lord Joffe’s Bill, weaknesses which help to explain why the Bill was subsequently rejected by the House.

Keywords:   euthanasia, House of Lords, Joffe, Mackay, Netherlands, Oregon

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