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Views of Assisted Suicide From Several Nations

Pat Phillips
JAMA. 1997;278(12):969-970. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550120027009.
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QUALITY OF DEATH issues continue to drive an international dialogue about physician-assisted suicide.

The medical-legal principles and concepts surrounding assisted death, particularly statutes in Australia and the state of Oregon, were among the issues explored at a conference held this summer in Dublin, Ireland, entitled "Comparative Perspectives on Law and Medicine." The meeting was sponsored by Loyola University Chicago Institute for Health Law, Chicago, Ill, and the health law section of the American Bar Association in cooperation with the Irish Legal Education and Research Trust and the health law section of the Canadian Bar Association.

Introducing the session on physicianassisted suicide, John Blum, JD, associate dean of health law programs and professor of law at Loyola University, called the issue "important and controversial." Jocelyn Downie, LLM, director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, called for a "respectful dialogue which does not devolve into the


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