Webinar hosted by the Centre for Law and Social Justice with guest speaker Professor Margaret Hall

You are warmly invited to attend a webinar where Professor Margaret Hall will be presenting her current paper.

Title and Abstract:

The Vulnerable Subject at the End of Life: Autonomy, Vulnerability, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Prof. Margaret Isabel Hall, LLB, LLM, PhD, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Theories of autonomy and vulnerability lie at the core of the Supreme Court of Canada’s reasoning in the 2015 case of Carter v Canada (finding the “blanket prohibition” on MAiD created by the Criminal Code to be unconstitutional) and the continuing debate about how and why access to MAiD should be enabled and/or limited. This paper looks critically at the problematic construction and application of “autonomy” and “vulnerability” in Carter and considers the difference it would make to place an alternative account of these ideas at the principled centre of analysis. Carter’s conflation of the distinct legal concepts of self-ownership and self-direction within a unified category of “autonomy” is a source of confusion within the case, and has muddied the ongoing controversies about MAiD eligibility in Canada.  The concept of vulnerability applied in Carter (that wise doctors will be able to recognise and respond to “vulnerable persons” as opposed to an invulnerable norm) is also problematic; how would the reasoning in that case be changed by re-imagining vulnerability as universal, rising and falling in connection with changes in body, mind, and social/material and relationship context?

This will be a virtual event. Access the link to join the event on CollaboratePlease note that link will be open 30 minutes before the start time of 4pm.

‚ÄčAny questions please email  B.Clough@leeds.ac.uk