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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 20:07 GMT 21:07 UK
Conference to discuss euthanasia
The symposium will attempt to assess the decision-making process
Academics from across Europe are attending the University of Liverpool for a conference about the way end-of-life medical decisions are made.

The symposium will also feature policy makers, health care practitioners and patient advocacy group representatives.

They will discuss the controversial issues of withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The two-day conference starts on Wednesday at the School of Law.

'Best interests'

Dr Samantha Halliday, from the university's School of Law, said: "Where patients lack capacity, case law confirms that medical decisions should be based on the patient's best interests.

"Putting the best interests of the patient first is, however, open to manipulation.

"For example there is the risk that the values of the decision-maker will prevail over those of the patient. The symposium aims to evaluate this decision-making process."

Medical and legal experts from universities in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK will speak at the conference, as well as representatives from organisations with involvement in the issues.

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