Who decides? Balancing competing interests in the Assisted Suicide debate

Ward, Amanda Jane (2015) Who decides? Balancing competing interests in the Assisted Suicide debate. LL.M(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3109968


This thesis examines the subject of assisted dying in the UK. This subject raises complex legal and ethical issues about autonomy, capacity and human rights. For the last 30 years 69 to 82 per cent of the British population has consistently stated support for a change in legislation to allow a choice of an assisted death for the terminally ill and mentally competent adult. Such laws do exist in other jurisdictions, but there is currently no law in the UK allowing such an act despite proposals in both Westminster and the Scottish Parliament.
This thesis will examine the background of the assisted dying movement in the UK, from its origins and conception to the present day, to enable consideration of the central argument of this paper which is that, if the UK public are pronouncing strong support for a change in the law and have done so for some time, then why are we not seeing this support materialise in the form of legislation. In particular, this thesis looks at the influential stakeholders in the UK assisted dying debate and assesses the impact they may have on members of Parliament. The groups include professional medical bodies such as the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), vulnerable groups and religious bodies to understand why they have opposed various legislative proposals. A central theme is to try to reconcile this opposition with the evidence which clearly shows that the UK public would favour a change in the law.
There is considerable information on the subject publicly available via the media and academics; this thesis will be useful in providing a succinct point of reference as to why the law stands as it does at present. Other jurisdictions will be considered and compared to the UK. The question of how they have managed to overcome the thematic obstacles which occur will be addressed, and it will be argued that such legislation may now be appropriate in the UK.

Item Type: Thesis (LL.M(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Autonomy, capacity, assisted dying.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Britton, Professor Alison
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mrs A J WARD
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6394
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 09:10
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 09:13
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6394

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