A Case Against Dutch Euthanasia
Hastings Center Report. 1989 Jan/Feb; 19(1): S22-S30.
The growing acceptance of voluntary active euthanasia by the Dutch is examined in relation to the plastic cards requesting active euthanasia carried by many people in The Netherlands, public opinion polls, and support by leading medical figures of the movement to legalize euthanasia. The author draws upon his experience as a hospital doctor to condemn the practice of active euthanasia, arguing that its voluntariness is often counterfeit and always questionable, that it is inseparable from overtly involuntary forms of euthanasia, and that its promise of sparing the sick person agony is false. "Voluntary" euthanasia also brings an ominous change in society because of the message it sends to the elderly and sick, the weak and the dependent; because the fallibility of medical judgments are inconsistent with the irreversibility of the act; and because the fallacious reasoning of the philosophy threatens to cause irreparable damage to the medical profession. (KIE abstract)
Active Euthanasia; Adults; Advance Directives; Aged; Attitudes; Congenital Disorders; Criminal Law; Eugenics; Euthanasia; Forms; Freedom; Involuntary Euthanasia; Killing; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Life; Living Wills; Liability; Mass Media; Minors; Misconduct; Moral Policy; Newborns; Nurses; Organizational Policies; Organizations; Philosophy; Physicians; Professional Organizations; Psychological Stress; Public Opinion; Public Policy; Punishment; Right to Die; Rights; Selection for Treatment; Single Persons; Statistics; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Values; Wills;