By Margaret Otlowski
Margaret Otlowski tackles the complex and controversial issue of active voluntary euthanasia and argues convincingly for a reform of the criminal law prohibition in common law jurisdictions. Otlowski critically examines the strict legal situation on euthanasia, which treats medically assisted dying as murder, and contrasts it with the position in practice. By highlighting the leniency shown to the few doctors who have actually been prosecuted for assisting their patients to die, she points to the discrepancy between the law and medical practice and argues for reform. The many arguments raised in the euthanasia debate are considered, as are steps taken towards reform in the UK, USA, Canada, and the Netherlands (where active euthanasia in now openly practised).