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Death and the Law. Suicide  the act of intentionally ending one’s own life  became illegal in the 13th century - it was a crime to commit suicide, and.

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Presentation on theme: "Death and the Law. Suicide  the act of intentionally ending one’s own life  became illegal in the 13th century - it was a crime to commit suicide, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Death and the Law

2 Suicide  the act of intentionally ending one’s own life  became illegal in the 13th century - it was a crime to commit suicide, and anyone who attempted and failed could be prosecuted and imprisoned, while the families of those who succeeded could also potentially be prosecuted

3 Suicide Act 1961  decriminalized suicide but created an offence of complicity in suicide ”A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or attempt by another to commit suicide shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”

4 The USA  suicide is not an offence, but aiding it is  issue of personal liberty  a right-to-die  a person with a terminal illness should be allowed to commit suicide or (physician) assisted suicide or to decline life-prolonging treatment, where a disease would otherwise prolong their suffering to an identical result

5 Euthanasia  the physician administers the means of death, usually a lethal drug  physician assisted suicide (the patient receives the medication and takes it on their own)  both are illegal in the UK

6 Classification  By means: a) active - where a person deliberately intervenes to end someone’s life (e.g. injecting someone with a large dose of sedatives) b) passive - where a person causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life (e.g. withholding antibiotics from somebody with pneumonia)

7  By consent: a) voluntary - where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks for help to do this b) non-voluntary - where a person is unable to give their consent and another person takes the decision on their behalf c) involuntary - where a person is killed against their expressed wishes

8 Abortion  Abortion Act legalises abortions (up to 28 weeks gestation) by registered practitioners, and regulates the free provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service  Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act abortion was no longer legal after 24 weeks except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the woman, there was evidence of extreme fetal abnormality, or there was a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman

9 Thank you!


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