Editorial first published in Palliative Medicine, vol. 6, no. 1 (1992), pp. 1–5.
This chapter presents a lengthy 1992 editorial on ‘voluntary euthanasia’ that appeared in the journal Palliative Medicine. It is among the first articles to explore an issue that subsequently generated a great deal of debate — the extent to which it is possible to endorse both the attempt to expand palliative care and the call for the legalisation of euthanasia. For Cicely Saunders, this was anathema, since euthanasia cannot ever be construed as an aspect of palliative care. In referring back to her original 1959 article on euthanasia, published in Nursing Times, she reiterates her considered view that euthanasia should be opposed on moral grounds and at the same time every effort should be made to eliminate the suffering that causes it to be requested.
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