A living will is not euthanasia

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7020.1644a (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1644
  1. Steven Luttrell,
  2. Celia Bielawska
  1. Senior registrar Consultant physician Department of Health Care for Older People, Whittington Hospital, London N19 5NF

    EDITOR,--We were concerned to read Ian Robertson's description of living wills.1 He states that they are “quasilegal,” but this is untrue. In the landmark Canadian case of Malette v Shulman Dr Shulman was found liable in battery for ignoring Mrs Shulman's advance refusal of treatment.2 In the more recent English case of Airedale NHS Trust v Bland three judges in the House of Lords confirmed the legal effect of advance …

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