Volume 2022 Number 3
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


This project has the primary aim of investigating the hypothesis that ‘voluntary euthanasia should be legalised due to the importance of respecting patient autonomy and dignity’. A secondary aim is to suggest possible reasons for the apparently lower levels of support for legalisation among physicians compared to the general population. The possible consequences of including dignity as part of the justification for legalising voluntary euthanasia are evaluated, with a focus on the link between dignity and incontinence and the resultant implications on the disabled population. Factors influencing the degree of autonomy a patient can experience when making end-of-life decisions are also explored and applied to the initial hypothesis presented. It is suggested that there are significant safeguarding concerns associated with legalising voluntary euthanasia, with specific considerations of the risks presented to the disabled and terminally ill communities. It is argued that this may provide an explanation for the discrepancies between levels of support for legalising euthanasia between the public, who largely do not have a duty to consider these safeguards, and medical professionals, who largely do. The project makes a universally generalisable conclusion that legalising euthanasia on the grounds of autonomy and dignity presents too significant a risk of harm to vulnerable communities within society, and therefore legalisation should be rejected. This presents a bridge connecting Islamic medical ethics, which strictly prohibits suicide and euthanasia, with values it holds in common with the ‘four principles approach’ outlined by Beauchamp and Childress and develops a rich space for the exploration of how autonomy and dignity can be related to Islamic values of community and public interest, and the paralleled principle of Justice.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error