WRIGHT, CONNOR (2021) ASSISTED DYING: JUDICIAL WRONG TURNS IN THE RIGHTS-BASED REVIEW OF THE SUICIDE ACT 1961 AND PROPOSALS FOR REFORM. Masters thesis, Durham University.
|PDF - Accepted Version|
Assisted dying is legally and ethically controversial. This thesis will argue that the Suicide Act 1961, which prohibits assisted dying, is inadequate for its stated purpose of protecting vulnerable individuals. This is partially because the Suicide Act is incoherent in its treatment of different categories of individuals who wish to end their life.
This thesis begins by examining the current standard of human rights protection surrounding assistance to die, to argue that the domestic judgments which uphold the prohibition of assisted dying lack coherence. Then, Article 14 ECHR (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 8 (right to private and family life) are applied to assisted dying to novelly demonstrate that some disabled individuals must be exceptionally allowed to be assisted to die on account of their different experience of the law. As a result, it is indefensible to prohibit assistance to die where it removes the choice to do so for those who are unable to end their life without assistance. The increasing duty of protection under Article 14 is therefore argued to undermine political arguments against judicial intervention in matters of assisted dying, especially including those which debate the constitutional separation of governmental powers. This thesis then makes the ethical case for allowing individuals to be assisted to die, if they so choose. In doing so, Gewirth’s Principle of Generic Consistency is defended and applied as the supreme principle of morality. By extension, this thesis demonstrates possible avenues for reform by suggesting an incremental approach to statutory amendment, in spite of the rejection of previously introduced Assisted Dying Bills.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Jurisprudence|
|Keywords:||Assisted Dying, Human Rights, Discrimination, Ethics|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||09 Feb 2021 08:58|