Voluntary Euthanasia - 1979

Committee Meeting, 28th March 1979.

'That the seriously ill, incapacitated and dying should have available to them the benefits of euthanasia, at the patient's request; if it is clear that the patient's suffering can only be terminated by death. Euthanasia is seen by the Council as a civil liberty, and therefore only voluntary euthanasia (i.e. requested by the patient), would be considered. In the same way, medical or other staff would not be asked to assist in euthanasia if such action were contrary to their personal convictions. A public official, such as an Ombudsman, would authorise the operation after having made sure that the patient was fully aware of the significance of what he or she was requesting, and after having made sure that undue influence had not been brought to bear upon the patient one way or the other. Once legal authorisation has been obtained, there should be no medical problem in carrying out the operation. In cases of differences of opinion, the matter would be referred to the courts for a decision.'