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Comparative Perspectives on Euthanasia in Nigeria and Ethiopia

Comparative Perspectives on Euthanasia in Nigeria and Ethiopia <jats:p> Discussions on euthanasia usually revolve around medical, legal and moral issues geared at determining the extent to which a physician may feel obliged to accede to the request of the terminally ill patient to bring to a graceful end his or her pain and suffering by assisting the patient to die. In some jurisdictions, physicians are statutorily conceded such rights in spite of the Hippocratic Oath. But the conservatively religious would have none of such as life is seen as sacred which only the Creator could terminate at the chosen time. This paper examines various views on euthanasia, zeroing in on criminal law regimes of two countries in Africa, namely Nigeria and Ethiopia. It is discovered that while the statutes and judicial decisions in these countries (especially in Nigeria) appear favourably disposed to the idea of passive euthanasia, active euthanasia is still criminalised whatever may be the intention of the doctor, and even at the request of the patient. A strong case is made for the need for these countries to borrow a leaf from some European countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, which have legalised euthanasia as a mark of respect to the right of the terminally ill to choose the most honourable way of passage to the Creator while putting an end to unceasing pain and suffering associated with the ailment. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Comparative Perspectives on Euthanasia in Nigeria and Ethiopia

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2010
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2010.0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Discussions on euthanasia usually revolve around medical, legal and moral issues geared at determining the extent to which a physician may feel obliged to accede to the request of the terminally ill patient to bring to a graceful end his or her pain and suffering by assisting the patient to die. In some jurisdictions, physicians are statutorily conceded such rights in spite of the Hippocratic Oath. But the conservatively religious would have none of such as life is seen as sacred which only the Creator could terminate at the chosen time. This paper examines various views on euthanasia, zeroing in on criminal law regimes of two countries in Africa, namely Nigeria and Ethiopia. It is discovered that while the statutes and judicial decisions in these countries (especially in Nigeria) appear favourably disposed to the idea of passive euthanasia, active euthanasia is still criminalised whatever may be the intention of the doctor, and even at the request of the patient. A strong case is made for the need for these countries to borrow a leaf from some European countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, which have legalised euthanasia as a mark of respect to the right of the terminally ill to choose the most honourable way of passage to the Creator while putting an end to unceasing pain and suffering associated with the ailment. </jats:p>

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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