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4 - The Role of Scientific Evaluations of the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedure) Act

Old Law, New Boundaries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2021

Ben P. White
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology
Lindy Willmott
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology
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Summary

The Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedure) Act (euthanasia law) came into force in 2002. The goals of the euthanasia law are to provide legal security for all involved in physician-assistance in dying, to assure prudent practice, and to provide a framework for physicians to be accountable and thus enable transparency and societal control. Every five years the law is evaluated to examine whether its objectives are (still) being met. In 2015–2017, this was done for the third time, by studying current practices, identifying new developments in the interpretation and conceptualisation of the legal criteria, which are formulated rather openly in the law, and analysing potential complexities of the review system. This chapter outlines the role of this evaluation in keeping the existing law under review. It is part of the ongoing examination of the operation, scope and effectiveness of the laws and so these findings contribute to deliberations about whether to change the law or not. The chapter also comments on the evaluation’s function in advising on suggested changes to the law.

Type
Chapter
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International Perspectives on End-of-Life Law Reform
Politics, Persuasion and Persistence
, pp. 63 - 83
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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