Year: 2005 Source: Journal of Medical Ethics, v.31, no.4, (April 2005), p.235-241 SIEC No: 20061031

Although the change in law regarding physician-assisted suicide is both dramatic & recent, the basic arguments for & against this practice have not really changed since the issue was debated by Williams & Kamisar nearly 50 years ago. In this paper, the author argues in favour of Kamisar’s consequentialist framework. Any change in law & social policy should not be based soley on individual cases, no matter how compelling they may be. Instead, Steinbock assets we need to assess the need for physician-assisted suicide, & weigh this against the risks of mistake & abuse. (39 refs.)