Double Effect in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld): A Critical Appraisal

  • Andrew McGee


The Criminal Code 1899(Qld) was recently amended to allow medical practitioners, and those acting under their guidance, to administer palliative care in circumstances where they foresee that, as a consequence of administering the treatment, the patient’s death may be hastened, provided that the treatment is administered in good faith and accords with good medical practice in Australia. The amendment has been described as a statutory enactment of the ethical doctrine of Double Effect. This article examines the doctrine of Double Effect afresh in the light of concerns that the legislation may inherit some of the problems that have traditionally been considered to beset the doctrine, and may therefore have effectively sanctioned euthanasia through the back door. The paper argues that, while the second reading speech, the Explanatory Notes, and some of the secondary literature on the doctrine have failed to provide an adequate response to this concern, an adequate response can be given and that it therefore proves unfounded.
Jun 1, 2004
How to Cite
MCGEE, Andrew. Double Effect in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld): A Critical Appraisal. QUT Law Review, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, june 2004. ISSN 2201-7275. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 feb. 2021. doi:
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