A report by Professor John Keown of Georgetown University concerning the Assisted Dying Bill and its broader context
In sum, the Falconer Bill:
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.(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?'