Dignity, compassion, care and safety valves at the end-of-life

Israel Law Review 41 (1-2):358-393 (2008)
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This is an extensive critical review of Euthanasia in International and Comparative Perspective. My Review is divided into five parts. First, I outline the book's strengths. I proceed by speaking of the need for clear and cohesive terminology. I then discuss end-of-life decision-making in some of the countries: Belgium, The Netherlands, and the State of Oregon in the United States, all allow PAS. Belgium and The Netherlands also allow euthanasia. I also discuss Israel's Dying Patient Law,13 enacted by the Knesset on December 5, 2005. Finally, I make some suggestions for improvement, including a detailed proposal for PAS which I conceive to be the best policy when balancing one against the other the autonomy of the patient, on the one hand, and the safeguards against abuse when life might be considered too lightly, on the other. Indeed, the main difference between euthanasia and PAS is that in euthanasia, it is the physician who makes the final act of taking patient's life, whereas in PAS it is the patient who takes his or her life. In euthanasia, the physician has control over the process. In PAS, the physician controls the procedure up until the last act. The patient has control over the very act of suicide.



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