The Dutch Model for Legalising End-of-Life Decisions
Medicine and Law 2003; 22(3): 543-550
The Dutch experience with euthanasia is used as a model for other countries for regulating end-of-life decisions. Several elements of the Dutch debate, for example the definition of euthanasia, are copied and imported to other debates. This paper studies the specific Dutch construction of regulating euthanasia and the concept of the requirements of prudent practice. The requirements of prudent practice embody the conditions for careful medical management in end-of-life decisions. It is argued that the requirements of prudent practice are a relatively acceptable way of regulating the Dutch practice of euthanasia as they are embedded in an elaborate network of relations, standards and values. As a consequence of this local character and the way the requirements of prudent practice relate to the Dutch practice of euthanasia it is difficult to simply transport them to other countries in order to regulate euthanasia.
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