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Euthanasia and Law in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the only country in the world in which euthanasia, under narrowly defined circumstances, is legally possible. Considerable attention has been paid over a number of years to the problem of regulating it. And information has been systematically collected concerning actual practice. The Dutch experience is therefore of interest not only to the Dutch themselves but also to people elsewhere who are considering whether or not to make similar practices legal and, if this is done, how they might most effectively be regulated. The book is written with a reader in mind who has no specific technical knowledge of law, and certainly not of Dutch law, but who is interested enough in the problems of public policy surrounding euthanasia to want an account of the Dutch situation that includes legal and factual information relevant to an informed assessment of the situation, that goes beyond generalizations and superficialities, and that seeks to avoid telling a tendentious story whose moral is preconceived from the start. The central focus of the book is on Dutch law pertaining to euthanasia and a number of closely-related sorts of medical behaviour. It deals with the legal norms and procedures currently in place, with how these have come to be what they are and with the direction in which they seem to be moving. But the book is not confined to the law itself: it also considers the moral and legal principles that have played a role in Dutch debate, the available evidence bearing on actual practice and on the effectiveness of legal control, and possible alternative forms of control. The book ends with some reflections on the problem of the "slippery slope" and the question of whether the Dutch experience is "exportable". It includes translations of the relevant legislation (including proposed reforms) and of three leading cases.
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About the Author

Prof. dr. John Griffiths is professor in Theory of Law at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Heleen Weyers and Alex Bood work as research assistants at the same institution.


Het geeft een precieze beschrijving en analyse van de rechtsontwikkeling sinds 1945 en een grondige empirisch onderzoek. Een zo omvattend overzicht bestaat in het Nederlands nog niet.[-]B.E. Chabot - Trouw[-][-]"Hebben de buitenlandse critici wat aan dit boek? Jazeker. Ten eerste omdat hierin hun kritiek serieus wordt genomen. Ten tweede stellen de auteurs dat men (ook) in het buitenland pas verder komt met de euthanasiediscussie als men niet langer in het duister opereert, maar er in het openbaar - zoals in Nederland - over spreekt."[-]Magda van der Grijn - Relevant

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