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University of Michigan Law School

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Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation Part Ii, Yale Kamisar Jan 1976

Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation Part Ii, Yale Kamisar

Articles

There have been and there will continue to be compelling circumstances when a doctor or relative or friend will violate The Law On The Books and, more often than not, receive protection from The Law In Action. But this is not to deny that there are other occasions when The Law On The Books operates to stay the hand of all concerned, among them situations where the patient is in fact ( 1 ) presently incurable, ( 2) beyond the aid of any respite which may come along in his life expectancy, suffering ( 3 ) intolerable and ( 4) unmitigable pain and of a ( 5 ...


Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation Part I, Yale Kamisar Jan 1976

Some Non-Religious Views Against Proposed 'Mercy-Killing' Legislation Part I, Yale Kamisar

Articles

In essence, Williams' specific proposal is that death be authorized for a person in the above situation "by giving the medical practitioner a wide discretion and trusting to his good sense." This, I submit, raises too great a risk of abuse and mistake to warrant a change in the existing law. That a proposal entails risk of mistake is hardly a conclusive reason against it. But neither is it irrelevant. Under any euthanasia program the consequences of mistake, of course, are always fatal. As I shall endeavor to show, the incidence of mistake of one kind or another is likely ...