Assisted dying: law and practice around the world

Definitions and dispute25

Proponents and opponents do not all agree on the terminology used to describe the process.

Assisted dying—Proponents of the current Assisted Dying Bill in England and Wales and others argue that this term best describes prescribing life ending drugs for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to administer themselves after meeting strict legal safeguards. Assisted dying, as defined like this, is legal and regulated in the US states of Oregon, Vermont, and Washington and is what the bill in England and Wales proposes.

Assisted suicide—This term is used to describe giving assistance to die to disabled and other people who are not dying, in addition to patients with terminal illness. Drugs are self administered. Some opponents of the Assisted Dying Bill in England and Wales do not accept “assisted dying” as distinctly different. Assisted suicide, as defined like this, is permitted in Switzerland.

Voluntary euthanasia—This term describes a doctor directly administering life ending drugs to a patient who has given consent. Voluntary euthanasia is permitted in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bmj.com

See on Scoop.itMyHealthShare Medical Reporter

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