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Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

15. Further homicide and related offences  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter deals with further homicide and related offences. It discusses offences ancillary to murder, solicitation and threats to kill, the offence of concealment of birth, complicity in suicide, mercy killing and suicide pacts as well as the Suicide Act 1961. The chapter also covers offences of infanticide, child destruction and abortion. Finally, it then moves on to provide an overview of the offences under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Acts 2004 and 2012 of causing or allowing a child or vulnerable adult to be killed or caused serious injury. The chapter examines the recent line of case law from the House of Lords and the Supreme Court considering whether the absolute prohibition on assisted suicide violates rights guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, Supreme Court. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, Supreme Court. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law Concentrate

9. The end of life  

This chapter deals with key legal and ethical issues surrounding end-of-life decisions, with particular reference to physician-assisted death, such as euthanasia. Suicide and assisted suicide, administration of pain relief, and futility are considered. Relevant legislation such as the Suicide Act 1961 (as amended by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009), the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 are discussed. The chapter examines several bioethical principles, including sanctity-of-life and quality-of-life debates; autonomy, beneficence, and medical paternalism; personhood, palliative care, and the double effect doctrine. Finally, it considers human rights issues, treatment requests, incompetent patients, prolonged disorders of consciousness, and locked-in syndrome. Recent cases are considered.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law

17. Assisted Dying  

This chapter examines assisted dying. It looks at the current law, and arguments for and against its reform. It covers attempts to change the law in parliament and through human rights challenges in the courts. There is also brief coverage of other jurisdictions’ experience with legalization.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

18. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide  

A. M. Farrell and E. S. Dove

As with treatment withdrawal and withholding, both law and ethics are engaged in the debates on euthanasia and assisted suicide. While the law is immovable on the proscription of the former as murder, assisted suicide is becoming increasingly permissible in various jurisdictions, subject to a range of conditions, or ‘safeguards’. These range from residency in the jurisdiction for a period of time, to capacity and a terminal diagnosis. In this chapter, we begin by discussing the question of euthanasia, before turning to assisted suicide as an expression of a person’s autonomy. We consider the ways in which the UK jurisdictions could reverse the current position in which assisting a suicide amounts to a criminal offence, including both a jurisprudential and a legislative route to reform. We conclude that while this is an essentially constitutional issue, there is no need for legislative reform, save in respect of that narrow class of patient with a degenerative and incapacitating neuromuscular disease.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

5. Homicide  

This chapter discusses homicide in the criminal law, which can be divided into the following categories: murder, manslaughter, infanticide, and a number of specific offences concerned with causing death while driving—with the first two categories being by far the most important. It considers suicide pacts, mercy killing, and euthanasia; homicide statistics; non-homicide killings; and diminished responsibility. Significant academic and political energy is put into homicide law, considering the relatively few homicide offences that take place each year. What this reveals is that the law’s approach to homicide has great symbolic importance in both political and legal terms.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

6. Manslaughter  

David Ormerod and John Child

This chapter focuses on manslaughter, a common law homicide offence with an actus reus of unlawful conduct causing death. The chapter considers two categories of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter arises where D commits murder, but meets the criteria for one of the partial defences: loss of self-control, diminished responsibility, or suicide pact. Involuntary manslaughter arises where D does not commit murder, but commits a relevant manslaughter offence: unlawful act manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, or reckless manslaughter. The chapter explains statutory offences of unlawful killing (corporate manslaughter, driving causing death, infanticide, killing of a foetus) and concludes by outlining options for legal reform concerning voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and the structure of manslaughter offences. Relevant cases are highlighted with a summary of the main facts and judgments.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

11. Dying and Death  

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of death. It begins with a discussion of the difficulty of the choosing a definition of ‘death’. It then sets out the law on a range of ‘end-of-life issues’, including euthanasia, assisted suicide, and refusal of medical treatment. It considers some particularly complex cases in which the law is not always easy to apply. These include the administration of pain-relieving drugs, the treatment of severely disabled newborn children, and the position of patients suffering from PVS. Next, the chapter considers the ethical debates surrounding euthanasia, assisted suicide, and terminating treatment. This is followed by a discussion of palliative care and hospices.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

8. Voluntary manslaughter  

This chapter examines categories of manslaughter in which the defendant killed with the mens rea for murder, but qualified for one of the partial defences which reduced his crime to one of voluntary manslaughter. These defences are: loss of control, diminished responsibility, and suicide pacts and assisted suicide.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

19. Medical Assistance in Dying  

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of euthanasia and assisted dying. It first examines the non-voluntary termination of life, covering the relationship between medical treatment and assistance in dying as a matter of failure to treat, and the philosophical concept of ‘double effect’. The chapter then discusses activity and passivity in assisted dying; dying as an expression of patient autonomy; suicide and assisted suicide; physician-assisted suicide; and assisted dying in practice.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

6. Manslaughter  

This chapter focuses on manslaughter, a common law homicide offence with an actus reus of unlawful conduct causing death. The chapter considers two categories of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter arises where D commits murder, but meets the criteria for one of the partial defences: loss of self-control, diminished responsibility, or suicide pact. Involuntary manslaughter arises where D does not commit murder, but commits a relevant manslaughter offence: unlawful act manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, or reckless manslaughter. The chapter explains statutory offences of unlawful killing (corporate manslaughter, driving causing death, infanticide, killing of a foetus) and concludes by outlining options for legal reform concerning voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and the structure of manslaughter offences. Relevant cases are highlighted with a summary of the main facts and judgment.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

7. Homicide I  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses murder, arguably the most serious crime in English law. Murder is where D kills V, and D intends to kill or intends to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). The most common criticism of the offence of murder is that the sentence is mandatory irrespective of whether the mens rea is the more serious form (intent to kill) or the less serious form (intent to cause GBH). There were three partial defences to murder under the Homicide Act 1957 (diminished responsibility, provocation, and suicide pact). There are three partial defences to murder under the Homicide Act 1957 as amended and the Coroners and Justice Act 2009: diminished responsibility, loss of self-control, and suicide pact. The chapter considers the first two in detail. These are partial defences because they result in a conviction for manslaughter rather than a full acquittal.

Book

Cover Human Rights Law Directions
Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Self-test questions and exam questions help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. Human Rights Law Directions has been written expressly to guide you through your study of human rights law, and to explain clearly and concisely the key areas of this fascinating subject. Combining academic quality with innovative learning features and online support, this is an ideal text for those studying human rights law for the first time. This fifth edition has been fully updated with key developments in human rights law, including: discussion, in so far as information allows, of proposed reform of the legal protection of human rights in the United Kingdom, post-‘Brexit’; the ECtHR case law on unlawful rendition; deportation and human rights; the impact of human rights on warfare and the condition of British troops abroad; the impact of Article 8 on abortion and assisted suicide; concerns over surveillance and communications data; the impact of human rights law on controversies over religious dress (such as the burqa ban in France); and possible infringements of rights by the legal response to Coronavirus.