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October 2021

The prevention of euthanasia through palliative care: New developments in The Netherlands

Author(s): Janssens, R.

Journal/Book: Patient Educ Couns. 2000; 41: Customer Relations Manager Bay 15, Shannon Industrial Estate CO, Clare, Ireland. Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd. 35-46.

Abstract: Dutch palliative care stands on the eve of important changes. Further development of palliative care has become part of official national health care policy. One of the aims is prevention of euthanasia. Through an expansion and improvement of palliative care facilities it is trying to rule out the possibility that future requests of euthanasia might be brought about through insufficient and inadequate palliative cart. This paper focuses on these new developments in The Netherlands. It first discusses the recent developments with regard to euthanasia. Thereafter, it describes the dynamic setting of palliative care. Finally, the issue of prevention of euthanasia through palliative cars is analyzed. With regard to this topic, two questions need to he carefully distinguished. On the one hand, there is the factual question of whether a further development of palliative care can prevent euthanasia, on the other hand we have the normative question of whether palliative care should be further developed to prevent euthanasia. Both questions are analyzed.

Note: Article Gordijn B, Catholic Univ Nijmegen, Dept Eth Philosophy & Hist Med, 232 EFG, Geert Grooteplein 21, POB 9101, NL-6500 HB Nijmegen, NETHERLANDS

Keyword(s): euthanasia; palliative care; goals of medicine; autonomy; beneficence; slippery slope

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