Regulating Death: Euthanasia and the Case of the Netherlands

Carlos F. Gomez, Author, Leon R. Kass, Foreword by Free Press $24.95 (172p) ISBN 978-0-02-912440-6
For this in-depth study of the complex issue of euthanasia, Gomez surveyed the Netherlands, the only country where an uneasy consensus of the courts, government and medical profession allows doctors to assist in the suicides of those who wish to permanently alleviate intolerable pain or put an end to treatment they find pointless. He focuses here on how the Dutch regulate euthanasia in order to prevent abuses of elderly or incapacitated patients. After assessing 26 cases of euthanasia in terms of criteria set by the courts and the medical establishment, Gomez remains skeptical of the fluid interpretation of the guidelines--which, he contends, favor physician-dictated private choice over public control. Of special interest to Americans is his warning that, due to the chaos of the American health care system, a euthanasia policy regulated privately would invite abuse, while one subject to public control would be inefficient and unenforceable. Gomez is a medical student at the University of Virginia. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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