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The New Dutch Law on Legalizing Physician-Assisted Death

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2001

GERRIT KIMSMA
Affiliation:
The departments of Family and Nursing Home Medicine and Philosophy and Medical Ethics at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
EVERT VAN LEEUWEN
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy and Medical Ethics at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract

On April 10, 2001, after extensive committee deliberations, the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament passed a bill that was introduced in August 1999 legalizing physician-assisted death. The bill is officially called “The Evaluation of Ending Life on Request and Assistance in Suicide and a Change of the Penal Code and the Burial Act (Law Evaluating Ending Life and Assistance with Suicide).” It was passed by a majority vote in the Second Chamber of Parliament and was supported by the majority parties constituting the present coalition government (i.e., liberals and socialists). Opposition to the law came mainly from a minority of Christian parties. In this report we explore the meaning of this bill and describe some of its problematic and paradoxical items.

Type
PERSPECTIVES
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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