Death and Medical Power: An Ethical Analysis of Dutch Euthanasia Practice

Synopsis

"This book is a well-referenced review of the history of the societal debate, attempts at regulation, and the practice itself. In addition, it discusses important and insightful distinctions (active-passive; omission-commission; outcomes-intentions). The unique basis for their conclusion makes an outstanding contribution to the literature."
Robert D. Orr, MD, CM, Professor of Bioethics,at Loma Linda University, California, USA.
  • How have Dutch debates on end-of-life care developed so differently from most other countries, finally resulting in the legalization of euthanasia?
  • What are the relevant legal, medical and ethical dimensions of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide?
  • What lessons can be learned from the Dutch experience with euthanasia?
In all modern countries a good death and relief of suffering are important issues of public debate. The bioethical debate in the Netherlands is unique since it has been focusing on the issue of euthanasia for more than thirty years. This book describes the debate, explains its origins, and analyses its development, resulting in the legislation of euthanasia. It also presents data on the medical practice of euthanasia with examples of cases.

Death and Medical Power details the evolution as well as the complexities of the legal responses to physician involvement in euthanasia. The authors analyze the ethical debate concerning euthanasia, discussing the pros and cons of medical termination of human life. The book concludes with a section on the lessons to be learned from the Dutch experience.

This unique study will be of relevance to all clinicians and other professionals involved in end-of-life care, to health policy makers and educators, as well as anybody else interested in the ethics of euthanasia.

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