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Swedish bioethicists call for law reform

Monday, August 19, 2013

Author Xavier Symons reports in Bioedge (August 20, 2013)  that following the acquittal of a Swedish intensivist, accused of having used high doses of thiopental after having withdrawn life-sustaining treatment when a child was imminently dying, two Swedish bioethicists

have called for law reform to protect palliative care doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics. They recommend  a peer review system within forensic medicine to be introduced for cases of suspected homicide.

The authors also claim that current penal law is a blunt instrument for prosecuting criminal activity in medicine. They make the following suggestion:

"One way to improve the legislative system would, in our opinion, be to add a provision to the ‘exceptions’ already stated in the Penal Code, from penal liability in cases of self-defence, emergency, consent, etc. This provision should state that an act or an omission within the healthcare system is not a crime if it accords with good clinical practice."

see Bioedge article here.

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