Two years ago, Nelika Dumee's family gathered at her mother's home to share an event they had been discussing for a year: her mother's death by euthanasia.
The older woman, who had been diagnosed as terminally ill, said "I want to have the honor to have mercy killing." In a room filled with flowers and candles and "a lot of family talking," she said her goodbyes. Then her doctor administered a lethal injection.
"It was a nice death," recalls Mrs. Dumee. "It was respectful."
It was also technically illegal and morally controversial. For decades, mercy killing has existed in a legal gray area in the Netherlands, not prosecuted as long as doctors follow …