The present situation in the Netherlands leads to the following three conclusions: (1) in daily health care practices, the crucial distinction between voluntary and nonvoluntary termination of life is losing meaning; (2) contrary to previous decades, society tends to accept cases of nonvoluntary termination of life more easily. The Remmelink Committee does not consider these cases morally troublesome. Indeed, the new legislative proposals simply include nonvoluntary termination of life in the same disclosure regulation that governs voluntary termination of life; and (3) although the Dutch debate on euthanasia began as a protest against contemporary medicine's power over death and dying, the general acceptance of euthanasia and the recent legislation may increase medical power by shifting the balance further in the direction of physicians. Euthanasia is, after all, the ultimate step in medical interventionism; suffering is to be relieved by any means, even if it entails the elimination of the sufferer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine