Article

Why The Netherlands?

University of Haifa, Israel.
The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics (Impact Factor: 1.1). 02/2002; 30(1):95-104. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2002.tb00725.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

During the summer of 1999, twenty-eight interviews with some of the leading authorities on the euthanasia policy were conducted in the Netherlands. They were asked: Why the Netherlands? What are the reasons that prompted the Dutch to adopt their policy? This study first provides some background information on the practice of euthanasia and the legal framework and then reports the interviews' answers on the question: Why the Netherlands? Multiple reasons were mentioned: historical, social, cultural, religious and political as well as the pivotal importance of the local healthcare system. A complex combination of factors brought the Netherlands to adopt a very tolerant attitude regarding euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

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    • "The legalisation of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the Netherland is considered by many to be a social experiment [7], and people in many other countries keep a (sometimes critical) eye on Dutch practices and debates [8]. While several studies have provided reliable estimates about the frequency and characteristics of the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands [9], this is the first study providing an overview of how euthanasia is described and debated in Dutch newspapers. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Netherlands is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal under strict conditions. This study investigates whether Dutch newspaper articles use the term 'euthanasia' according to the legal definition and determines what arguments for and against euthanasia they contain. We did an electronic search of seven Dutch national newspapers between January 2009 and May 2010 and conducted a content analysis. Of the 284 articles containing the term 'euthanasia', 24% referred to practices outside the scope of the law, mostly relating to the forgoing of life-prolonging treatments and assistance in suicide by others than physicians. Of the articles with euthanasia as the main topic, 36% described euthanasia in the context of a terminally ill patient, 24% for older persons, 16% for persons with dementia, and 9% for persons with a psychiatric disorder. The most frequent arguments for euthanasia included the importance of self-determination and the fact that euthanasia contributes to a good death. The most frequent arguments opposing euthanasia were that suffering should instead be alleviated by better care, that providing euthanasia can be disturbing, and that society should protect the vulnerable. Of the newspaper articles, 24% uses the term 'euthanasia' for practices that are outside the scope of the euthanasia law. Typically, the more unusual cases are discussed. This might lead to misunderstandings between citizens and physicians. Despite the Dutch legalisation of euthanasia, the debate about its acceptability and boundaries is ongoing and both sides of the debate are clearly represented.
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    ABSTRACT: During the summer of 1999 and in April 2002 I went to The Netherlands in order to meet some of the leading authorities on the euthanasia policy. They were asked multiple questions. This study reports the main findings to the question: should doctors suggest euthanasia to their patients? Some interviewees did not observe any significant ethical concerns involved in suggesting euthanasia. For various reasons they thought physicians should offer euthanasia as an option. Two interviewees asserted that doctors don't propose euthanasia to their patients. Five interviewees objected to physician's initiative.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2002 · Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

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