Margaret Pabst Battin

in Ending Life

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850280 | DOI:

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Because we tend to be rather myopic in our discussions of death and dying, especially about the issues of active euthanasia and assisted suicide, it is valuable to place the question of how we go about dying in an international context. This chapter explores the three rather different approaches to end-of-life dilemmas prevalent in the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany — developments mirrored in Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, and elsewhere in the developed world — and consider how a society might think about which model of approach to dying is most appropriate for it. The United States, with the sole exception of Oregon, legally permits only withholding and withdrawal of treatment, “double effect” uses of high doses of opiates, and terminal sedation, all conceived of as “allowing to die”. The Netherlands permits these but also permits voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Germany rejects physician-performed euthanasia but, at least until recent legal threats, permits assisted suicide not assisted by a physician.

Keywords: United States; Netherlands; Germany; death; dying; end-of-life; allowing to die; voluntary active euthanasia; physician-assisted suicide

Chapter.  11777 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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