End-of-life care: identifying an appropriate legal framework for specialist palliative care in Ireland
University College Cork
This thesis argues that the legal framework in Ireland for specialist palliative care is inadequate and consequently a more appropriate legal framework must be identified. This research is guided by three central research questions. The first central research question examines the legitimacy of the distinction between specialist palliative care and euthanasia. The second central research question asks what legal framework currently exists in Ireland for specialist palliative care. The third central research question examines an alternative legal framework for specialist palliative. This thesis is composed of seven chapters. The first Chapter is an introduction to the thesis and defines the terminology and the central research questions. Chapter Two explores the development and practice of palliative care in Ireland. Chapter Three examines the distinction in criminal law between specialist palliative care practices and euthanasia. Chapter Four examines the human rights framework for specialist palliative care. Chapter Five critiques the regulatory framework in Ireland for specialist palliative care. Having gained a thorough understanding of palliative care and the related legal framework, this thesis then engages in comparative analysis of the Netherlands which is used as a source of ideas for reform in Ireland. Chapter Seven is the concluding chapter and, in it, the main findings of this thesis are summarised. The main findings being that: the distinction between specialist palliative care and euthanasia is not sufficiently supported by justifications such as a double effect or the acts and omissions distinction, there is no clear decision-making framework in Ireland for specialist palliative care, and the current legal framework lacks clarity and does not promote consistency between providers of specialist palliative care. This Chapter also proposes that detailed professional standards and guidelines are likely to be the most appropriate way to effect individual and institutional change in the provision of specialist palliative care.
Netherlands , Medical law , Palliative care , Double effect , Sedation , Euthanasia , Acts and omissions , Healthcare
Lombard, J. 2014. End-of-life care: identifying an appropriate legal framework for specialist palliative care in Ireland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork..