Human Rights Issues In End Of Life Issues Notes
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Human Rights Issues in End of Life Issues Where we're at • Art 2: engaged to protect the vulnerable, no right to death contained within (Haas and Pretty) • Art 8(1) engage for those who wish to die (Purdy); but not positive rights (Haas) • Art 8(2) engaged to protect the vulnerable, so can interfere with Art 8(2) (Purdy; Haas) • Art 14 - not engaged/justifiable (Pretty) o Herring: more emphasis on rights of vulnerable than positive right to die. Human rights hasn't really liberalised the law in this area. Art 8 • ECtHR in Pretty o Essence of the Convention is respect for human dignity and freedom without negating the principle of sanctity of life o In an era of growing medical sophistication combined with longer life expectancies, many people are concerned that they should not be forced to linger on in decrepitude which conflict with strongly held ideas of self and personal identity. • Purdy o Baroness Hale: Clearly the prime object must be to protect people who are vulnerable to all sorts of pressures, • Both subtle and not so subtle, to consider their own lives a worthless burden to others • Herring: not just people lacking autonomy, but people being pressured as well - vulnerable = very broad category Object must also at same time but protect exercise of genuinely autonomous choice. • The factors which tell for and against such a genuine exercise of autonomy from pressure will be important o Lord Brown Suppose a loved one in desperate and deteriorating crimunstances, regards the future with dread and has made a full informed and voluintary decision to die • Needing another's compassionate help and support to accomplish that end • Is assistance in those circumstances necessartily to be deprectiated?
Seems to me that it would be possible to regard the conduct of the aider as altruistic rather than criminal • Conduct to be understood out of respect for an intending suicide's rights under Art 8, o Than discouraged so as to safeguard the right to life of others under Art 2.
Seale C's decisions • 63% of deaths involved an end of life decision by a medical practitioner o Might include switching off ventilator, pain relief double effect - decision made to do or not to do something
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