Journal article

Too much safety? Safeguards and equal access in the context of voluntary assisted dying legislation

Rosalind McDougall, Bridget Pratt

BMC MEDICAL ETHICS | BMC | Published : 2020


Background In June 2019, the Australian state of Victoria joined the growing number of jurisdictions around the world to have legalised some form of voluntary assisted dying. A discourse of safety was prominent during the implementation of the Victorian legislation. Main text In this paper, we analyse the ethical relationship between legislative “safeguards” and equal access. Drawing primarily on Ruger’s model of equal access to health care services, we analyse the Victorian approach to voluntary assisted dying in terms of four dimensions: horizontal equity, patient agency, high quality care, and supportive social norms. We argue that some provisions framed as safeguards in the legislation ..

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