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p. 969. The end of lifelocked

  • Charles Foster


‘The end of life’ begins with the definition of death. In the UK and many other jurisdictions, the definition of death is based on brain-stem death. The protocols to be followed in reaching the diagnosis of death are tightly controlled. At the heart of much legal thinking about death and dying is the distinction between acts and omissions. The differences between and issues involved with murder, euthanasia, and assisted suicide are discussed. Then the withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment and the four common legal strategies in these cases — substituted judgement, best interests, proxy decision-making, and advance directives (living wills) — are considered.

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