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Eutanasi och assisterat självmord - en komparativ studie

Ravheden, Emma LU (2011) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I en komparativ studie undersöktes regleringen av flera former av eutanasi (dödshjälp) och assisterat självmord i Sverige, Nederländerna, Schweiz och Italien. Även Europadomstolens praxis, samt attityder till och förekomst av eutanasi behandlades och resultaten sammanställdes.

Bland de jämförda länderna är aktiv eutanasi, dvs. att aktivt förkorta en annans liv, tillåtet endast för nederländska läkare, såvida vissa kriterier är uppfyllda (due care). Krav ställs bl.a. på patientens outhärdliga lidande och uttryckliga förfrågan, samt att läkaren konsulterat minst en kollega.

Självmord är inte olagligt i något av de jämförda länderna. I Sverige och Schweiz får vem som helst assistera vid självmord, undantaget svenska läkare. I Schweiz... (More)
I en komparativ studie undersöktes regleringen av flera former av eutanasi (dödshjälp) och assisterat självmord i Sverige, Nederländerna, Schweiz och Italien. Även Europadomstolens praxis, samt attityder till och förekomst av eutanasi behandlades och resultaten sammanställdes.

Bland de jämförda länderna är aktiv eutanasi, dvs. att aktivt förkorta en annans liv, tillåtet endast för nederländska läkare, såvida vissa kriterier är uppfyllda (due care). Krav ställs bl.a. på patientens outhärdliga lidande och uttryckliga förfrågan, samt att läkaren konsulterat minst en kollega.

Självmord är inte olagligt i något av de jämförda länderna. I Sverige och Schweiz får vem som helst assistera vid självmord, undantaget svenska läkare. I Schweiz ställs krav på medhjälparens goda avsikter och i landet finns ideella organisationer som hjälper personer att ta sina liv ifall vissa kriterier är uppfyllda. I Nederländerna får endast läkare assistera vid självmord och endast enligt nämnda due care-kriterier. I Italien är assisterat självmord straffbart för alla. I Sverige och Schweiz har praxis visat att svårigheter kan uppstå vad gäller att dra gränsen mellan medhjälp till självmord och aktiv eutanasi. Praxis från Europadomstolen har visat att en stat inte bryter mot Europakonventionen ifall den inte möjliggör assisterat självmord för en enskild medborgare.

Passiv eutanasi för lekmän, dvs. att underlåta att handla med följden att en annan person dör, är endast lagligt i Sverige. I samtliga undersökta länder är passiv eutanasi tillåtet inom sjukvården, men vissa skillnader finns i respektive lands sjukvårdsbestämmelser. Principen om dubbel effekt, dvs. att syftet med en handling eller underlåtenhet aldrig får vara att förkorta en patients liv, är dock viktig i samtliga länder. Att söva ner patienten och dra in närings- och vätsketillförsel så att patienten slutligen avlider (palliativ sövning) kan förekomma i samtliga länder, men endast under vissa snäva förutsättningar. Endast i Nederländerna är livstestamenten, där en person anger sina önskemål angående vård i livets slutskede, bindande.

Talan mot brott väcks i allmän domstol. I respektive land har sjukvården kontrollorgan som kan utreda och vidta disciplinåtgärder. I Nederländerna måste läkare anmäla fall av aktiv eutanasi och assisterat självmord till speciella kommittéer. I de jämförda länderna är allmänheten mer positiv till eutanasi än läkarkåren, och skillnaden är störst i Sverige. Aktiv eutanasi är mycket ovanligt i länderna. I Nederländerna förekom det i ett av fyrtio dödsfall där en läkare hade varit inblandad.

Att eutanasi legaliserats just i Nederländerna kan ha flera samhälleliga och juridiska orsaker. Doktrinen om livets helgd, vikten av personlig autonomi samt synen på läkarrollen har haft stor betydelse för utformningen av regleringen i samtliga behandlade länder. (Less)
Abstract
The regulation of several types of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy was examined, as well as case law from the European Court of Human rights, and attitudes towards and occurrence of euthanasia. The results were then analysed.

Active euthanasia, i.e. to actively shorten the life of another person, is legal only for Dutch physicians. The physician must act with due care: the patient’s request of euthanasia must be explicit and the suffering unbearable.

Suicide is not illegal in any of the compared countries. It is legal for anyone to assist a suicide in Sweden and Switzerland, with the exception of Swedish physicians. In Switzerland, the assistant must act with good intentions.... (More)
The regulation of several types of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy was examined, as well as case law from the European Court of Human rights, and attitudes towards and occurrence of euthanasia. The results were then analysed.

Active euthanasia, i.e. to actively shorten the life of another person, is legal only for Dutch physicians. The physician must act with due care: the patient’s request of euthanasia must be explicit and the suffering unbearable.

Suicide is not illegal in any of the compared countries. It is legal for anyone to assist a suicide in Sweden and Switzerland, with the exception of Swedish physicians. In Switzerland, the assistant must act with good intentions. Non-profit organizations help individuals to take their own lives if certain criteria are fulfilled. In the Netherlands, only physicians are allowed to assist suicides, and only according to the requirements of due care, mentioned above. Assisted suicide is illegal for everyone in Italy. Swedish and Swiss case law has shown that drawing the line between assisted suicide and active euthanasia can be a difficult matter. According to case law from the European Court of Human Rights, a country does not violate the Convention by denying a citizen assisted suicide.

Passive euthanasia for laypersons, i.e. an omission resulting in the death of another person, is only legal in Sweden. In all of the examined countries, passive euthanasia is allowed within the medical service, but with some differences between the countries. The principle of double effect, i.e. that the purpose of an act of omission never should be to shorten the life of a patient, is important in all of the countries. The sedation of patients, in combination with the withdrawal of nutrition and liquid, and with the patient’s death as a consequence, does occur in all compared countries, in limited situations. Living wills are only legally binding in the Netherlands.

If a physician or a nurse acts contrarily to the national health care regulations, he or she can be subject to investigation and disciplinary measures. Dutch physicians have an obligation to report cases of active euthanasia and assisted suicide to a review committee. In all four countries, the public is more positive to euthanasia than the physicians, and the difference is greatest in Sweden. Active euthanasia is very rare in all of the countries. In the Netherlands active euthanasia and assisted suicide was the cause of death in 2.5 per cent of all deaths reported by physicians.

There are several possible reasons as to why euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands, and not in other countries. When defining regulation on euthanasia and assisted suicide, principles such as the sanctity of life, the importance of personal autonomy, and the role of physicians, have had a great influence in all four countries. (Less)
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author
Ravheden, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Euthanasia and assisted suicide - a comparative study
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, komparativ rätt, aktiv eutanasi, passiv eutanasi, assisterat självmord, palliativ vård
language
Swedish
id
1784035
date added to LUP
2011-02-08 11:46:11
date last changed
2011-02-14 10:30:55
@misc{1784035,
  abstract     = {The regulation of several types of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy was examined, as well as case law from the European Court of Human rights, and attitudes towards and occurrence of euthanasia. The results were then analysed. 

Active euthanasia, i.e. to actively shorten the life of another person, is legal only for Dutch physicians. The physician must act with due care: the patient’s request of euthanasia must be explicit and the suffering unbearable. 

Suicide is not illegal in any of the compared countries. It is legal for anyone to assist a suicide in Sweden and Switzerland, with the exception of Swedish physicians. In Switzerland, the assistant must act with good intentions. Non-profit organizations help individuals to take their own lives if certain criteria are fulfilled. In the Netherlands, only physicians are allowed to assist suicides, and only according to the requirements of due care, mentioned above. Assisted suicide is illegal for everyone in Italy. Swedish and Swiss case law has shown that drawing the line between assisted suicide and active euthanasia can be a difficult matter. According to case law from the European Court of Human Rights, a country does not violate the Convention by denying a citizen assisted suicide. 

Passive euthanasia for laypersons, i.e. an omission resulting in the death of another person, is only legal in Sweden. In all of the examined countries, passive euthanasia is allowed within the medical service, but with some differences between the countries. The principle of double effect, i.e. that the purpose of an act of omission never should be to shorten the life of a patient, is important in all of the countries. The sedation of patients, in combination with the withdrawal of nutrition and liquid, and with the patient’s death as a consequence, does occur in all compared countries, in limited situations. Living wills are only legally binding in the Netherlands.

If a physician or a nurse acts contrarily to the national health care regulations, he or she can be subject to investigation and disciplinary measures. Dutch physicians have an obligation to report cases of active euthanasia and assisted suicide to a review committee. In all four countries, the public is more positive to euthanasia than the physicians, and the difference is greatest in Sweden. Active euthanasia is very rare in all of the countries. In the Netherlands active euthanasia and assisted suicide was the cause of death in 2.5 per cent of all deaths reported by physicians. 

There are several possible reasons as to why euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands, and not in other countries. When defining regulation on euthanasia and assisted suicide, principles such as the sanctity of life, the importance of personal autonomy, and the role of physicians, have had a great influence in all four countries.},
  author       = {Ravheden, Emma},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,komparativ rätt,aktiv eutanasi,passiv eutanasi,assisterat självmord,palliativ vård},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Eutanasi och assisterat självmord - en komparativ studie},
  year         = {2011},
}