Double Effect in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld): A Critical Appraisal
AbstractThe 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.
Authors who publish with this journal retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Articles in this journal are published under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY). This is to achieve more legal certainty about what readers can do with published articles, and thus a wider dissemination and archiving, which in turn makes publishing with this journal more valuable for authors.