Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?

The Guardian

Christopher de Bellaigue

Last year a Dutch doctor called Bert Keizer was summoned to the house of a man dying of lung cancer, in order to end his life. . . . Keizer is one of around 60 physicians on the books of the Levenseindekliniek, or End of Life Clinic, which matches doctors willing to perform euthanasia with patients seeking an end to their lives, and which was responsible for the euthanasia of some 750 people in 2017. . . [Full text]

One thought on “Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?”

  1. A detailed and interesting article that includes two points warranting comment.

    First, the author asserts that only a small minority of Dutch physicians refuse to provide euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS), quoting a specialist who puts the number at “perhaps less than 8%”. However, statistics published by the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees do not support that claim, although they do not permit an actual tally of the number of those directly involved in EAS. The overwhelming majority of Dutch EAS providers are general practitioners; about 5,000 of the roughly 6,000 physicians known to have been involved in 2016. This amounts to less than 35% of GPs and less than 10% of all physicians.

    Second, the director of Levenseindekliniek told the author that it would be “almost unethical” for a physician to refuse to provide euthanasia if it were an option in an “unbearable” situation with “no prospect of improvement.” Applying this reasoning, refusing to provide euthanasia for moral or ethical reasons would be unethical, immoral, and professionally unacceptable.

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