Regulating Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Ethics Committees for Review of Euthanasia?
ten Have, Henk A.M.J.
Janssens, Rien M.J.P.A.
HEC (HealthCare Ethics Committee) Forum. 1997 Dec; 9(4): 393-399.
In this essay we critically review recent regulations with regard to euthanasia policy in The Netherlands. Euthanasia in Holland is formally structured under the penal code. However, because of court cases in which, from the beginning of the 1970s, conditions were formulated wherein euthanizing physicians would not be prosecuted, euthanasia could easily become part of the future standard of medical practice. Recently, new rules concerning the practice of euthanasia have been proposed by the Dutch government in order to adequately control euthanasia practice. These proposals mainly focus on retrospective review. Until now, relatively little attention was paid to preventability of euthanasia. In order to prevent euthanasia, prospective consultation with physicians considering to commit euthanasia would have to receive more attention. In the United States, ample experience has been acquired providing prospective consultative services in neonatalogy. In the aftermath of the "Baby Doe" case, infant care review committees (ICRCs) were established to enhance decisionmaking with regard to severely compromised newborns. These experiences provide interesting points of departure for the development of prospective consultative services in The Netherlands, particularly for physicians who are considering to euthanize patients.
Active Euthanasia; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Consultation; Decision Making; Disclosure; Ethicists; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Ethics Consultation; Euthanasia; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Care; Legal Aspects; Newborns; Palliative Care; Patients; Physicians; Public Policy; Quality of Health Care; Regional Ethics Committees; Regulation; Review; Review Committees; Technical Expertise; Terminal Care;
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