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Title: The role of religion and secularism in the legalisation of assisted suicide in multicultural English society
Author: Madan, Anita
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 9842
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
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Religion has been the most important phenomenon that has influenced and even controlled the culture, customs, law, and governmental and judicial activities of multicultural English society and continues to play an important role in this country. This thesis examines the role and degree to which religion – particularly the Church of England and Islam – and secularism have historically impacted, and continue to influence, the assisted suicide debate. The significance of this examination lies in the fact that a decision to seek an assisted suicide is greatly influenced by the ideology that person identifies with. Furthermore, the ideology, whether religious or secular, that the government and judiciary espouse has a significant influence on the law on assisted suicide, and, thus, has a considerable impact on the lives of every citizen that falls under the remit of the law. Therefore, as this thesis argues, it is vital that the beliefs and viewpoints of both religious and secular communities be included in this debate. This thesis establishes that even though the Christian faith, which has always opposed assisted suicide in order to protect the doctrine of sanctity of life, has deep-seated ties with English society; the dominant culture of the country is now secular, which seeks a reform of the law. The thesis concludes that the criminal embargo on assisted suicide is morally and legally is flawed, unreasonable and untenable. Whilst arguing that it should be decriminalised in England on the basis that every individual has the right to selfdetermination, which allows them to choose the time and manner of their death, under human rights law; this thesis deduces that there is a diminishing inclusion and influence of religious beliefs in the debate on assisted suicide, which is now predominantly guided by secular values such as autonomy and the need to protect vulnerable individuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available