Northwestern University

Thu 12:00 PM

“Death with Dignity” and Mental Disorder - Candice Player

recurring see all events in this series

When: Thursday, March 2, 2017
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Searle Seminar Room (Ground Floor), 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Bryan Morrison   312.503.1927

Group: Medical Humanities & Bioethics Lunchtime Montgomery Lectures

Category: Lectures & Meetings

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The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities and Bioethics program presents

A Montgomery Lecture


Candice T. Player, JD, PhD, MPhil
Assistant Professor of Law
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

“Death with Dignity” and Mental Disorder

States and nations are grappling with physician-assisted death and its boundaries. In the United States, euthanasia is universally prohibited and a handful of states have sanctioned physician-assisted death for competent adults with terminal illnesses. In Europe, physician-assisted suicide is broader. The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland permit both euthanasia and physician-assisted death for competent non-terminal patients, whether the cause of the patient’s suffering is psychological or somatic. Indeed all three countries allow physician-assisted dying for psychiatric patients without an underlying somatic disorder. Still, legal scholars, bioethicists, and psychiatrists are divided over whether someone with a mental disorder should have access to physician-assisted suicide. Some object to physician-assisted suicide itself, while others support a right to assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses, but are reluctant to extent that right to people with mental illnesses on the ground that doctors cannot be certain that they are making a competent decision. In this talk, I argue that people with mental disorders should have the right to access physician-assisted death, no less than people with terminal or non-terminal medical conditions.


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