Disability-based arguments against assisted dying laws

Colburn, B. (2022) Disability-based arguments against assisted dying laws. Bioethics, 36(6), pp. 680-686. (doi: 10.1111/bioe.13036) (PMID:35389513) (PMCID:PMC9322678)

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Some of the most common arguments against legalizing assisted dying are based on appealing to the rights of people with disabilities. This article identifies and responds to those arguments, including that people with disabilities univocally oppose assisted dying laws; that those laws harm people with disabilities, or show disrespect; and that those laws undermine other vital aspects of healthcare. Drawing on philosophical argument, as well as on evidence from jurisdictions where assisted dying is legal, the article concludes that considerations of disability do not in fact generate good arguments against assisted dying laws. In fact, the opposite is true. There are nevertheless important lessons that proponents and defenders of such laws can learn in conversation with people with disabilities, including about safeguards on assisted dying to protect their well-being and autonomy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Colburn, Professor Ben
Authors: Colburn, B.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Bioethics
ISSN (Online):1467-8519
Published Online:07 April 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author
First Published:First published in Bioethics 36(6): 680-686
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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