Euthanasia in the Netherlands: The Policy and Practice of Mercy Killing
This book is a must for anyone who wishes to understand the pitfalls of policy-making where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are concerned. The book will be most useful in academic forums, and it will appeal to legislatures and judges who take the decisions and make the judgments necessary to protect the fabric of society in the face of technological medicine. In addition, this book is of relevance to medical doctors, ethicists, lawyers working in the field of medical law and ethics, and sociologists who are interested in end-of-life issues and social justice.
Euthanasia in the Netherlands:
- addresses an issue that is of growing concern in North America and Europe;
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Professor Simon Shimshon Rubin, Department of Psychology, University of Haifa:
How to best respect human beings at the end of life concerns all of us. Euthanasia in the Netherlands: The policy and practice of mercy killing takes a long and careful look at the Dutch experience with active euthanasia. Whatever one's position on the issue, this book provides a clear and compelling look at the interface of social policy, law, and practice both as conceived and as practiced. Prof. Cohen-Almagor provides an accessible synopsis of law and policy on euthanasia before addressing the law and policy in the Netherlands. The bulk of the book informs the reader by presenting the results of semi-structured interviews with leading thinkers and policy makers in the Netherlands's medico-legal and ethical establishments. Analyzing and critiquing the results of these exchanges, Cohen-Almagor brings into sharp focus a range of concerns about euthanasia based on what his respondents have shared. In the final section, Prof. Cohen-Almagor translates his concern with human dignity into a set of important recommendations on how to dramatically improve the manner in which decisions to end human life should be handled.
Prof. Cohen-Almagor has given us a book that meets the highest standards in how to conduct social policy research ethically and responsibly. Euthanasia in the Netherlands is readable, scholarly, and thought provoking. It is relevant to bioethicists, physicians, legislators, and anyone who is interested in the matter of human life and dignity.
Professor William R. Winslade, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas:
Euthanasia in the Netherlands is an excellent book on an important topic. It succeeds in giving an even-handed appraisal of Dutch euthanasia practices, providing a better understanding and valuable insights of the Dutch experience with euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Cohen-Almagor analyses clearly and accurately the weaknesses of the policy and offers recommendations for correcting the deficiencies and developing a sounder policy. He combines an overview of the literature with analyses and interpretations of the intriguing interviews he conducted with key people in the Netherlands.
Cohen-Almagor’s book is critical but judicious. He gives a balanced account of the views with which he disagrees and he carefully explains the basis for his disagreement. His style of writing is straightforward, clear, easy to follow, logical, and coherent. Bioethicists and other scholars in medicine, public health, and law will be interested in this book. College teachers of medical ethics will also find it valuable, and educated general readers with a special interest in euthanasia will find it helpful.
The Three Research Reports of 1990 1995 and 2001 and Their Interpretations
The Practice of Euthanasia and the Legal Framework
Views on the Practice of Euthanasia
INTERVIEWEES GENERAL COMMENTS
c On the Work of the Regional Committees
d Further Concerns
b Suggestions for Improvement
The Remmelink Contention and the British Criticism
Should Physicians Suggest Euthanasia to Their Patients?
Breaches of the Guidelines
On Palliative Care and the Dutch Culture
On Legislation and the Chabot Case