A Dignified Death for All: How a Relational Conceptualisation of Dignity Strengthens the Case for the Legalisation of Assisted Dying in England and Wales

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Criminalising assisted dying is irreconcilable with human dignity and condemns a small number of individuals to significant suffering. Human rights law requires the protection of privacy, but States are given some flexibility in terms of balancing the right to respect for private life with the need to safeguard life itself. The recurring cases of suffering individuals who seek legal recognition of a right to die demonstrate the need for legal change to make the law more compassionate. After introducing conflicting definitions of dignity and the human rights conflict behind a right to die, this article engages with a new idea, which strengthens the claim for the legalisation of assisted dying: relational dignity. While the permissibility of
assistance to die is a global issue, this article will specifically focus on England and Wales.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733–751
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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Published Online 26/01/2020

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ID: 160633902

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