News Articles

Author traces the rise of euthanasia in the Netherlands

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The Dutch minister who liberalized an obscure law regulating burial to allow active euthanasia now agrees that palliative care for dying patients was given insufficient attention. Els Borst-Eilers who represented the progressive democratic D66 in a Labour Party-led cabinet, acknowledges that euthanasia at the time was not new in the Netherlands; physicians had already been accommodating it for years, giving rise to the desire to have it legalized. Legal and ethical experts led the push towards legalization. Many phycisians are now guiding dying patients towards palliative care, however, which has been gaining acceptance in the Netherlands in recent years. Researcher Anne-Mei The, a lawyer and an anthropologist, documented the process towards legalizing euthanasia in her book ”Verlossers naast God” (freely translated, Liberators besides God) in which many phycisians have a say. A Dutch medical journal helped The with her project. Earlier, she wrote her findings of her work in a care facility in the book ”In de wachtkamer van de dood” (In death’s waiting room).