The aim of the paper is to determine the role that psychiatrists should play in legislation that establishes a right to active voluntary euthanasia (AVE).
One version of the « slippery slope » argument, usually invoked against the legalisation of AVE, is recast as an argument for the introduction of strong safeguards in any future AVE legislation.
The literature surrounding the prevalence of psychiatric illnesses in the terminally ill, physicians'ability to identify such illnesses and the aetiology of suicide in the terminally ill is examined.
The strength of the slippery slope argument, combined with the poor ability of general physicians to diagnose psychiatric illness in the terminally ill, demands that any legislation allowing AVE should require a mandatory psychiatric review of the patient requesting euthanasia.
Any legislation adopted that establishes a right to active voluntary euthanasia should include a mandatory psychiatric review of the person requesting euthanasia and a cooling off period before the request is acceded to.
In addition, the discovery of a serious mental illness ought to disqualify the affected person from the right to AVE until that illness resolves.
Mots-clés Pascal : Euthanasie, Ethique, Législation, Rôle professionnel, Psychiatre, Trouble psychiatrique, Homme, Suicide assisté
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Euthanasia, Ethics, Legislation, Occupational role, Psychiatrist, Mental disorder, Human, Assisted suicide
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0195696
Code Inist : 002B18A. Création : 199608.