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Netherlands decriminalised euthanasia-law - Essay Example

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Thanatos means death). It is defined as the practice of prescribing treatment and medication with the aim of shortening the suffering and life of a patient. This may be carried out in two forms, the…
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Netherlands decriminalised euthanasia-law
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Netherlands Decriminalized euthanasia-law Introduction Euthanasia is a word with Greek origins meaning Easy death (Eu means good, easy. Thanatos means death). It is defined as the practice of prescribing treatment and medication with the aim of shortening the suffering and life of a patient. This may be carried out in two forms, the first one being the admission of a poisonous injection to the patient by the doctor and the second one being abstention from performing acts that will prolong a patient’s life like refusal to administer medication or intentionally not connecting them to life support machines.
The Royal Dutch Medical Association KNMG, together with the Dutch courts, have the responsibility of establishing and maintaining guidelines which are used by physicians in the selection of patients who qualify for either euthanasia, or assisted suicide. If the attending doctor follows all the guidelines given by the KNMG before assisting a patient, he is then not liable for prosecution. Over time, some of these guidelines are being ignored and some of the doctors have resorted to administering the operation without following all the legal guidelines (Dykxhoorn).
The Dutch Courts have ruled that euthanasia is allowed to be performed by doctors in cases where, the doctor faces an irresolvable conflict between his responsibility to his ailing patient whose incurable condition necessitates euthanasia, and the Dutch laws which helped make euthanasia illegal. If a patient persistently and freely makes a request for assisted suicide as a result of his condition, the Dutch doctors are obligated to consider the request (Dykxhoorn).
The first Dutch government study on euthanasia, The Remmelink Report of September 10, 1991 clearly shows that doctors are increasingly taking over making the making of the decision on if a terminally ill patient is to live or die. In cases where the patient wishes to be aided in suicide or needs euthanasia, the decision on whether a patient should continue to live or is to die is decided by a team of physicians and experts or exclusively by the attending doctor (Patients Rights Council).
According to Derek Humphry, Switzerland is the only country, which does not, bar foreigners from obtaining euthanasia and assisted suicide services but laws are carefully regulated to ensure that the reasons for obtaining the assistance are valid as the Swiss laws require. (Humphry)
Conclusion
Terminally ill patients should be permitted to decide on whether or not they want to die. However, laws and regulations should be enacted and be strictly regulated to ensure that only a patient who is terminally ill is allowed to do so. This is to avoid the abuse of assisted suicide and euthanasia by individuals and doctors who may wish to benefit from it.
Works cited:
Foreman, M. Wesley: Christianity & bioethics: confronting clinical issues 1999 Joplin, Mo: College Press Pub. Co.: 113. Print
Humphry, Derek: The good euthanasia guide 2004: [where, what, and who in choices in dying] 2005 Junction City, OR: Norris Lane Press, 2005: 8-9. Print
Dykxhoorn, Hermina. "Euthanasia in the Netherlands." Euthanasia.com. 2012 Web 2 May. 2012.
Patients Rights Council. “Background about Euthanasia in the Netherlands.” Patients Rights Council 2011 Web 2 May 2012 Read More
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