The book reasons that the legal systems should defer to existing relationships of loyalty.
Familial, professional, and religious loyalties should be respected as relationships beyond the limits of the law.
This book seeks to cut through the rhetoric that has become a feature of the debate and asks whether there is a sound reason for denying the wishes of individuals who express their wish to die Law is essentially a set of rules and principles created and enforced by the state whereas morals are a set of beliefs, values and principles and behaviour standards which are enforced and created by society.
Legal and moral rules can be isolated with the former being created by the legislative institution of parliament; whereas the latter have evolved with and through society and are the standards which society in general accepts and promotes.
Voluntary euthanasia is when a person with a terminal (incurable) or serious progressive illness asks for their life to be ended by a doctor, or carer, which can include a family member or friend.
From the ethical perspective, euthanasia raises many important issues including the right to life, the right to liberty, the avoidance of unnecessary pain, the appropriate allocation of medical resources, and the rights and duties of doctors.
Other relevant considerations include the improving standard of palliative care and the “slippery slope” argument.
The central arguments for and against euthanasia are evaluated against the background of the leading contemporary moral theories.
Moral arguments abound for the legalisation of euthanasia and also for it remaining illegal in English law.
This area of law is one in which the extent to which the law should intervene in peoples’ lives is relevant.