Comparing the Mechanisms of Legal Change
An examination of the differing contours of the legal regulation of assisted dying resulting from the three mechanisms of legal change as well as legislative approaches reveals interesting features. Regimes resulting from necessity or compassion as mechanisms of legal change are not restricted to cases of an autonomous request but will include termination of life without request where necessary to relieve suffering. Regimes resulting from rights as the mechanism of legal change require a competent request unless the relevant jurisdiction allows proxies to exercise rights on behalf of incompetent individuals, in which case it would be difficult to rule out the possibility of dispensing with the requirement of a competent request. Regimes resulting from necessity or compassion as mechanisms of legal change will always maintain a suffering requirement, however, which is not necessarily the case with regimes resulting from rights as the mechanism of legal change.
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