Regulating Death: Euthanasia and the Case of the Netherlands

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9780029124406: Regulating Death: Euthanasia and the Case of the Netherlands

Gomez examines the way in which euthanasia is administered in the Netherlands - the only state to tolerate it. He shows how the practice has affected medical care and social attitudes in the Netherlands, and stresses the importance of tight control of a practice that could easily be perverted.

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From Library Journal:

Here, Gomez, a physician with a Ph.D. in public policy, examines the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands, reviewing the general literature and interviewing nine Dutch healthcare workers. Contrary to popular belief, euthanasia is not legal in the Netherlands, but it is not prosecuted under certain conditions. Since the medical establishment operates under loose guidelines and neither the courts nor the legislature have enacted consistent rules, the existing restraints are ambiguous and ineffective. Concerned about the vulnerability of seriously ill patients, Gomez discusses the issues of voluntary consent and unbearable suffering and argues that the availability of euthanasia tends to influence the decisions of doctors, patients, and families who might otherwise consider alternative treatments. These are important issues, but they are raised without any probing discussion. Medical ethics collections may want to add it since there is nothing else in print about the Dutch system, but it is not a necessary purchase. See also Jack Kevorkian's Prescription: Medicide , reviewed below.--Ed.
- Bar bara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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