Imprecise language and deliberate confusion of important ethical and legal concepts are clouding our understanding of controversial end-of-life issues. This could affect our decision about whether or not to legalise euthanasia.
In postmodern societies, the euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide debate is an important forum for the "death talk" through which we accommodate — with as much comfort as possible — the reality of death into the living of our lives.1 Recently, I debated Dr Philip Nitschke, at the Australian Medical Association's Annual General Meeting in Canberra, 24–26 May 2002, on whether euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide should be legalised. Dr Nitschke advocates such legalisation; I oppose it.
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