Dutch Euthanasia Revisited
Issues in Law and Medicine. 1997 Winter; 13(3): 301-311.
The results of a follow-up study of euthanasia by the Dutch government, five years after the first study, were published on November 26, 1996. This article provides a detailed review of the two reports comparing and contrasting the statistics cited therein. The author notes that the "rules of careful conduct" proposed by the courts and by the Royal Dutch Society of Medicine were frequently disregarded. Special topics included for the first time in the second study were the notification and non-prosecution procedure, euthanasia of newborns and infants, and assisted suicide in psychiatric practice. The authors of the follow-up report state that it would be desirable to reduce the number of "terminations of life without patients' request," but this must be the common responsibility of the doctor and the patient. They suggest that the person who does not wish to have his life terminated should declare this clearly, in advance, verbally and in writing, preferably in the form of a living will. Involuntary euthanasia was rampant in 1990 and equally rampant in 1995. The author concludes that Dutch doctors who practice euthanasia are not on the slippery slope. From the very beginning, they have been at the bottom.
Active Euthanasia; Adults; Age Factors; Allowing to Die; Assisted Suicide; Attitudes; Cancer; Comparative Studies; Consultation; Drugs; Doctors; Empirical Research; Euthanasia; Government; Guidelines; Infants; Involuntary Euthanasia; Knowledge; Legal Liability; Life; Liability; Mandatory Reporting; Medicine; Mortality; Motivation; Newborns; Notification; Patients; Physicians; Referral and Consultation; Research; Review; Reporting; Statistics; Suicide; Trends; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wedge Argument; Withholding Treatment;
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