Choosing Death

A new Dutch law makes euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide easier

IN MOST PLACES, A DOCTOR WHO HELPS A TERMINALly ill patient commit suicide could face prosecution. But not in the Netherlands, which has just stepped into the vanguard of the right-to-die movement. Its parliament approved the world's most liberal rules on euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Both practices are still technically illegal, but doctors won't be charged if they notify coroners of their actions and if they follow certain guidelines. Among them: the patient must be mentally competent; must be suffering unbearable pain and request euthanasia repeatedly; and the doctor must consult a second physician before proceeding.

While restrictions are loosening in...

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