Deficiencies of regulation of euthanasia in legal acts of foreign countries
University of Latvia, Latvia
Today in most countries the practising of euthanasia is not permissible and as in any case of a criminal offence, which endangers the life of a person, criminal liability applies here. However, the analysis of legal norms in foreign criminal codes reveals several deficiencies, ranging from – the absence of legal regulation which leads to a paradoxical situation, when ignoring the motive and aim of the offence, euthanasia is qualified according to the article of the criminal code which provides for liability for murder with no mitigating circumstances, but assisted suicide liability does not apply at all, – to including special legal norms pertaining to this problematic issue, in the structure of criminal codes, in the disposition of which there is an absence of several mandatory constituent elements of these particular criminal offences, thus unduly extending the provision of these norms in practice also in the cases not related to “easy death”. The deficiencies of legal acts are observed also in those few countries which allow a definite form of euthanasia and its practising by means of special laws. And most importantly, foreign legislators ignore such forms of terminating the lives of incurably ill persons as active and passive non-voluntary euthanasia, which depending on the nature of the offence requires an appropriate legal framework, which so far has not been observed.
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