An Ethical Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in the Netherlands from a Nursing Point of View

Nursing Ethics 5 (4):307-318 (1998)

In the Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide are formally forbidden by criminal law, but, under certain strictly formulated conditions, physicians are excused for administering these to patients on the basis of necessity. These conditions are bound up with a long process of criteria development. Therefore, physicians still live in uncertainty. Future court decisions may change the criteria. Apart from that, physicians can always be prosecuted. The position of nurses, however, is perfectly clear; they are never allowed to administer euthanasia or assisted suicide. Nevertheless, they should be involved in the decision-making process because they are an important source of information and have consultation skills. The openness of the discussion about these issues in the Netherlands may prevent an escalation of medical or nursing responsibility and falling victim to the ‘slippery slope’
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DOI 10.1177/096973309800500404
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Euthanasia in the Netherlands.Maurice A. M. Wachter - 1992 - Hastings Center Report 22 (2):23-30.

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