葡京现金游戏

Dutch plan will sanction 'mercy killing'

作者:卜寐    发布时间:2019-03-03 04:16:09    

By PETER SPINKS in AMSTERDAM Draft legislation that would permit euthanasia was submitted to the Dutch parliament by the coalition government last week. If the law is enacted, as is widely expected, Dutch doctors will be the first in the world to have the state’s permission to end a patient’s life. Under the law, doctors can end a patient’s life under strictly controlled conditions. The patient must make a ‘well-considered’ request for euthanasia. Doctors must provide a detailed account of the patient’s circumstances by means of a 28-point check list and must notify the coroner that they have administered euthanasia. Although officially illegal in the Netherlands, euthanasia accounts for an estimated 2 per cent of deaths in the Netherlands each year. The government’s proposals set the practice on a firmer footing. Although doctors who carry out euthanasia face a maximum 12-year sentence, in practice they have avoided prosecution by following similar informal guidelines. Under the draft legislation, doctors who fail, in the view of a court, to comply with the stipulated conditions, would also be liable to a 12-year sentence. The Dutch justice minister, Ernst Hirsch-Ballin, said the proposals struck a delicate balance between the government’s duty to protect life and the individual’s right to die with dignity. But the initiative received a lukewarm response from the medical profession and a Dutch right-to-die group. The Royal Dutch Medical Association said that the publication of the guidelines was a step forward. But the association’s vice-president, Raymond van de Velde, said he was disappointed that doctors would still be at risk of prosecution. ‘A doctor who feels compelled to terminate a patient’s life still risks being considered a criminal,’ he said. Pit Bakker, chairwoman of the Netherlands Association for Voluntary Euthanasia, said the government proposals were ‘extremely confusing’. She also regretted that the government had not chosen the more ‘straightforward’ approach of legalising euthanasia without attaching such stringent conditions. Hirsch-Ballin and the health minister, Hans Simons,

 

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