Prof Keown is an expert in medical ethics and law, and his report on the Joffe Bill in 2006 was considered to be of great value in helping Parliamentarians and others to weigh that Bill's merits (and demerits). Copies of his latest, succinct analysis, Physician-assisted Suicide: Some Reasons for Rejecting Lord Falconer's Bill, were supplied to Peers by CNK ahead of the second reading debate on Friday 18 July.

Prof Keown concludes that,
In sum, the Falconer Bill:
(i) undermines a fundamental and historic legal and ethical principle: respect for the equal worth of all patients.
(ii) is a 'foot in the door'. The main ethical arguments which will be used to support it, misguided understandings of 'autonomy' and 'beneficence', are equally arguments for euthanasia for the competent, and for the incompetent, and, in either case, whether 'terminally ill' or not.
(iii) evades a vital question: 'Precisely how will it ensure what relaxed laws in other jurisdictions have conspicuously failed to ensure: effective control of PAS, not least to protect those who do not want to die and those for whom there are alternatives?'
John Keown, MA DPhil PhD, holds the Kennedy Chair of Ethics in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. He was previously Senior Lecturer in Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of Queens' College and of Churchill College. He has written widely on the law and ethics of medicine, and his work has been cited by the US Supreme Court, the Law Lords, the Court of Appeal, and the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics. His latest paper is 'A Right to Voluntary Euthanasia? Confusion in Canada in Carter' (2014) 28(1) Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy 1-45.