Quotes from various places....
Economist, A time to die. The Economist, August 5 1989:19.
p.19. No calculating utilitarian, applying Bentham's cold arithmetic of pleasure versus pain, can demand that the old be killed or starved to save money for the young. It is the old themselves who, for their own dignity and out of concern for their successors, must learn to demand less of the court physicians. . . . Those who channel money, both public and private, to medical research need the courage to see that they will earn gratitude by gunning for misery as well as for the headline-making killers…. There is room for plenty of theories about what makes life worth living, but none of them can include longevity as an end in itself….Think of a person's life in biographical rather than biological terms - in terms of achievements, experiences, responsibilities discharged and so on, not in terms of blips on a hospital scanner. It then becomes easier to see when somebody's life has been completed. When a person (or his relatives) can see that a biography is finished, it is not for doctors to try to write a painful extra chapter.
Beauchamp T., Childress J. (1994) Principles of Biomedical Ethics 4th
Edition. Oxford: OUP.
p.10 "Similarly, the judgement that an act is morally acceptable does not imply that the law should permit it. For example, the thesis that active euthanasia is morally justified if patients face uncontrollable pain and suffering and request death is consistent with the thesis that the government should legally prohibit active euthanasia because it would not be possible to control abuses if it were legalized. We are not here defending particular moral judgements about the justifiability of such acts. We are maintaining only that the connections between moral action-guides and judgements about policy or law or legal enforcement are complicated and that a judgement about the morality of acts does not entail a particular judgement about law and policy. Factors such as the symbolic value of the law, the costs of a program and its enforcement, and the demands of competing programs must also be considered."
p. 120. "The word autonomy, derived from the Greek autos ("self") and nomos ("rule", "Governance", or "law"), was first used to refer to the self-rule or self-governance of independent Hellenic city-states. Autonomy has since been extended to individuals and has acquired meanings as diverse as self governance, liberty rights, privacy, individual choice, freedom of the will, causing one's behaviour and being one's own person."
p. 121. "Virtually all theories of autonomy agree that two conditions are essential: 1. liberty (independence from controlling influences) and 2. agency (capacity for intentional action)."
p. 125. "Mill's position requires both noninterference with and an active strengthening of autonomous expression, whereas Kant entails a moral imperative of respectful treatment of persons as ends rather merely as means. In the final analysis, however, these two profoundly different philosophies both provide support for the principal of respect for autonomy."
p. 145. "Legal, regulatory, philosophical, medical and psychological literatures tend to favour the following elements as the analytical components of informed consent: 1. competence, 2. disclosure, 3. understanding, 4. voluntariness, and 5. consent. These elements are then presented as the building blocks for a definition of informed consent."