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Ann Health Law. 2004 Summer;13(2):365-92, table of contents.

A Dutch perspective: the limits of lawful euthanasia.

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Utrecht University, the Netherlands.


Dutch author Ubaldus de Vries reviews the current state of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands. The legislation, enacted in 2001, creates a medical exception that allows for euthanasia in cases where patients experience "hopeless and unbearable suffering." A brief history of the Dutch approach to euthanasia is set forth, case law is reviewed, and the unique role of the doctor is examined in seeking to understand the extent of one's right to euthanasia in the Netherlands. Because the courts must determine what constitutes "hopeless and unbearable suffering," Professor de Vries analyzes the judicial interpretation of "suffering" and concludes that judicial interpretation has reached its limits, and thus by implication, the limits of lawful euthanasia have been reached.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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