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Paper Information

Journal:   MEDICAL LAW   SUMMER 2010 , Volume 4 , Number 13; Page(s) 11 To 30.
 
Paper: 

THE RIGHT TO DIE OR GET KILLED? AN OVERVIEW TO MERCY KILLING

 
 
Author(s):  MIR MOHAMMAD SADEGHI H.*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 
Crimes against bodily integrity, as a violent crimes are those against the body and soul, i.e. the only real human assets and his existence. Hence for a long time, the different legal systems have been imposing severe penalties for their offenders.
Obviously if the injuries to victim lead to death, especially where the perpetrator of such results directly or indirectly may have intended so, his behavior is more outrageous and the offender is called murderer.
Doing homicide means depriving a man of his dearest property, named life. It is the only crime that is irreversible and its effect not only is on him but also is on his friends and family and even the community. Enormity of murder have been reflected in severity of penalties (including hanging, Qisas (retribution), life imprisonment or at least long prison) in various countries Considering what was said, despite that a severe punishment is justified for murder, but the fairness of capital punishment for mercy killing whose aim is only relieving patients with throughout life from suffering are strongly doubtable. So, in a country like Netherlands, some legal provisions permitted committing such action in special conditions in 2001. In other countries like Britain, in spite of prohibition of this action, Different rules provide different ways for discounting the punishments of offenders.
Despite that good motivation has no role in decreasing the fixed penalties like Qisas, but there are some legal ways to not convicting such offenders to murder. Article 268 of "Islamic Penal Code" is considerable in this respect. Some great jurists also approve this view point. Additionally, another way to avoid convicting such offenders as other criminals is making doubt in "causal connection": considering that the majority of these homicides are committed by omission, it may be interpreted that the only thing that the offender has done, is not making obstacles to the patient's death and he was not the cause of death.
In this article, some solutions will be discussed and analyzed in detail, and we will result that despite no one have the right to kill others, but in mercy killings the case is often "giving permission to die" and not "killing". Accordingly convicting a mercy killer to Qisas is not acceptable.
 
Keyword(s): FELONY, HOMICIDE, CONSENT, MERCIFULLY, RETRIBUTION (QISAS)
 
References: 
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