Voluntary euthanasia: ethical concepts and definitions
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Voluntary euthanasia: ethical concepts and definitions

Karen Sanders Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
Chris Chaloner Ethics adviser, Royal College of Nursing, London

Euthanasia is a highly emotive and contentious subject, giving rise to a great deal of debate. However, despite its frequent exposure in public and professional media, there appears to be a lack of clarity about the concepts and definitions used in the euthanasia debate. This suggests that discussions on this subject are inadequately informed and ineffectual. The ethical focus of the euthanasia debate concerns the moral legitimacy of ‘voluntary euthanasia’. This article provides an overview and clarification of some of the key ethical issues at the centre of that debate.

Nursing Standard. 21, 35, 41-44. doi: 10.7748/ns2007.



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review