When Hamlet posed the like question as he contemplated suicide, he faced the voyage to 'the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns'. Similar dread was faced by judges when considering the possibility of a death sentence, due to the awesome finality of such a judgment. Even after the abolition of the death penalty, life and death decisions still have to be made by judges, such as whether a very seriously mentally disabled baby should be allowed to die rather than be force-fed, or in the case of the conjoined twins where the stark issue before the court was whether it would be lawful to kill one to save the other.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/to-die-or-not-die-that-is-the-question
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,900 lectures free to access or download from the website.