End of Life

End of Life

End of life decisions concern our ability to make choices concerning the end of our lives and take of the form of refusal of life sustaining treatment, being help in committing suicide, choosing euthanasia, and make choices that must be upheld even when the person becomes unconscious. As Young (2010) noted, “People have an interest in making important decisions about their lives in accordance with their own conception of how they want their lives to go.”


To measure the degree of freedom that a person enjoys with regard to deciding how her life should end, we identified the key decisions that express such freedom as they involve an exercise of autonomy that binds health care professionals.

  • The freedom to request that active euthanasia is performed
  • The freedom to request that passive euthanasia is performed
  • The freedom to be assisted in committing suicide
  • The freedom to refuse treatment
  • The freedom to issues specific directive that bind health care professionals in the future

Data sources

Data were collected from the following sources:

Aksoy, Sahin. “Ethical Considerations on End of Life Issues in Turkey (in Bioethics in Asia in the 21st Century).”  http://www.eubios.info/ABC4/abc4079.htm | de Cruz, Peter. Comparative Healthcare Law. London, Sidney: Cavendish Publishing Ltd., 2001. | Griffiths, John, Heleen Weyers, and Maurice Adams. Euthanasia and Law in Europe. Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart, 2008. | Jox, R. J., S. Michalowski, J. Lorenz, and J. Schildmann. “Substitute Decision Making in Medicine: Comparative Analysis of the Ethico-Legal Discourse in England and Germany.” Med Health Care Philos 11, no. 2 (2008): 153-63. | Keown, John. Euthanasia Examined: Ethical, Clinical, and Legal Perspectives. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. | Mendelson, Danuta, and Timothy Stoltzfus Jost. “A Comparative Study of the Law of Palliative Care and End-of-Life Treatment.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 31, no. 1 (2003): 130. | Pridgeon, J. Lucy. “Euthanasia Legislation in the European Union: Is a Universal Law Possible?” Hanse Law Review 2, no. 1 (2006): 45-59. | Scherer, Jennifer M., and Rita J. Simon. Euthanasia and the Right to Die: A Comparative View. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999. | Nicol, Julia, Marlisa Tiedemann, and Dominique Valiquet. “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: International Experiences.”  http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/researchpublications/2011-67-e.htm | Young, Robert. “Voluntary Euthanasia.”  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/euthanasia-voluntary/