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Assisted Suicide

Canadian Perspectives

Edited by C. G. Prado

Publication Year: 2000

When it became possible to extend the dying process, it became necessary to decide when to stop doing so because of the enormous personal and social costs. But perspectives on "assisted suicide" vary greatly. Physicians see it as a medical issue, jurists as a legal issue, philosophers as a moral issue and the media as a political issue. These original essays show how these perspectives shape the ongoing debate.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Philosophica

Front Matter

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pp. v-vi

My thanks to those who contributed to this collection, both for their articles and their patience through the always difficult process of publication. My thanks also to Alex Zieba for his productive suggestions on the Introduction and for the quotation that begins it. Special thanks to Karen Weteleinen, Ivana ...


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-xiv

Out here, in the rest of the world, we must greet the appearance of an "all-Canadian" volume on physician-assisted suicide with exceptional enthusiasm. It may be difficult to realize how important an all-Canadian contribution to the global discussion of assisted dying is, if one just thinks of Canada ...

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pp. xv-xviii

In August of 1992, I drove out to an unassuming suburban house on the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria. A tall, attractive woman, age 42, met me at the door. Except for a slightly unsteady gait and hint of a quaver in her voice, she seemed outwardly healthy; but she was dying. Her name was ...

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INTRODUCTION. Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, morieris: (Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me,Thou must die)

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pp. 1-14

A sea change is taking place in our attitude toward death. Death has come out of the closet. More accurately, dying is being increasingly acknowledged as an integral part of human life, as was the norm prior to our century's hygienic isolation of death. Dying has ceased to be something fearfully unspoken ...

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CROSSING THE LINE: A Reflection on Palliative Care and Assisted Suicide1

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pp. 15-28

Throughout most of Western history death has occurred at home. Only the indigent were taken to hospital to die, but in the second half of the 20th century things changed. Spurred by the exigencies of the Second World War and by the postwar surge of energy and affluence, the 1950's and 60's saw scientific ...

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pp. 29-42

Does assisted suicide differ from requested euthanasia? If so, in what respects? First, in order to be able to discuss this question, we need to differentiate what we mean by the terms "assisted suicide" and "euthanasia." Only then we can proceed to ask whether we should make legal or moral distinctions between ...

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pp. 43-60

Present debate about "managed death"1 is vitiated by ambiguity. Various forms of managed death—not delaying or hastening death in terminal illness—are being lumped together as "assisted suicide." But the bulk of managed death is not help in se/f-destruction; rather it is compassionate causing of ...

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pp. 61-72

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are "bad" words in the practical world of health care. If a practitioner allows that active aid-in-dying of the sort connoted by these terms ought to be allowed in certain circumstances, he or she is very often looked at by colleagues as being morally questionable. This is ...

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pp. 73-82

Considering the problem of dying in the medical context from the standpoint of Canadian law, it is helpful to discuss a series of contrasts or distinctions. The first distinction is between active euthanasia1 and assisted suicide. The second is a distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide on the ...

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ASSISTED SUICIDE, ETHICS AND THE LAW: The Implications of Autonomy and Respect for Persons, Equality and Justice, and Beneficence

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pp. 83-94

The Criminal Code of Canada, as indeed the relevant codes of many jurisdictions, prohibits assisted suicide. This prohibition is contained in section 241(b), which states that . . . 241. Every one who...(b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence ...

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pp. 95-112

Decision-making capacity (mental competence) functions,in theory at least, to protect individual freedom from paternalism. Those who possess such capacity in regard to a certain matter are protected from the imposition of well-meaning concern for their well-being. Those who lack such capacity ...

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pp. 113-184

This annotated bibliography provides a substantial sampling of media coverage surrounding the issue of assisted suicide. The articles cover a span of 11 years (1988-1999), but the selection is weighted toward the last four (1996-1999). In order to make the project more manageable this bibliography ...


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pp. 185-206


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pp. 207-209

E-ISBN-13: 9780776615424
E-ISBN-10: 0776615424
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776605159
Print-ISBN-10: 0776605151

Page Count: 209
Publication Year: 2000

Volume Title: 51
Series Title: Philosophica