Medicine and the Law

End of life decisions: killing and letting die

Loane Skene, Paul Nisselle



Determining whether a patient is competent to make decisions about refusing treatment involves consideration of legal and ethical principles and the available medical evidence.

Article Extract

Two recent high publicity cases in England neatly highlight the distinction in the law, of both England and Australia, between a positive act that kills a terminally ill patient – which is unlawful – and the withdrawal of treatment at the patient’s request – which is permissible.