Euthanasia in the Netherlands Essay

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As most countries abstain from the right to euthanasia, the Lower House of Parliament on November 28, 2000 passed a bill, legalizing euthanasia in the Netherlands. Will this law impact the beliefs and ideals of other countries and cause them to re-evaluate their medical procedures? In “Why Physicians? Reflections on the Netherlands’ New Euthanasia Law,” Jos V. M. Welie provides a descriptive overview of the history of the Dutch penal code on euthanasia in the Netherlands. In “Euthanizing Life,” John F. Kavanaugh discusses an anorexic patient who was illegally euthanized and presents Judge Miner’s offered opinion based on equal protection of the law.

In “Why Physicians? Reflections on the Netherlands’ New Euthanasia Law,” Welie
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Many problems arose due to this defense and soon the Dutch Supreme court decided upon the controversial issue. “As early as 1986, the Dutch Supreme court rejected medical exception as grounds for waiving punishment for euthanasia” (Welie 43). Welie then states how no technique could measure a moral force a physician would experience to commit euthanasia. “Instead, a procedural approach was adopted. Regulations were put in place that required physicians to adhere to certain conditions of due care, report rather than hide their acts of euthanasia, and to submit to review by special euthanasia committees” (Welie 44).

Now, such justification on committing euthanasia is not needed. With the new laws, as long as a patient requests death, under the right circumstances and conditions, a licensed physician has the right to euthanize. The specifics of the law are discussed in Kavanaugh’s “Euthanizing Life.” “Children between 12 and 18 are required to have medical consent. No longer restricted to ‘terminally ill’ and fully competent adults, patients must at least be ‘chronically ill’ and in unbearable pain. Doctors will administer death only after an appropriate medical review” (Kavanaugh 28). Kavanaugh reveals to his audience some fascinating facts regarding euthanasia in the Netherlands. One includes that there were 4,000 reported medically assisted suicides a year at the time when it was illegal. The other…

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