By John Griffiths, Alex Bood, Heleen Weyers
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Additional resources for Euthanasia and Law in the Netherlands
Legal developments concerning euthanasia itself will in the coming years deal essentially with fine-tuning of the existing system (the requirement of consultation with a second doctor, for example, while itself completely non-controversial, leads to complications in some cases). There are, of course, some exceptions to this generalization. An important example is the status of written euthanasia requests made by persons who later become incompetent (especially due to senile dementia); other remaining problems include such things as how to deal with persons of diminished competence and with minors.
We will therefore state our own personal convictions here at the outset and try to keep them out of the rest of the book as much as possible. The reader is in any case forewarned about what they are and can keep an eye out for unintended distortion. In general terms, we believe: that the law should allow ample room for people to decide for themselves the moment and the manner of their death; that effective legal control is absolutely essential to prevent abuse of the power unavoidably involved in medical care in connection with death (but not more necessary for euthanasia than it is in the case of a number of related sorts of medical behavior that shortens life).
An important example is the status of written euthanasia requests made by persons who later become incompetent (especially due to senile dementia); other remaining problems include such things as how to deal with persons of diminished competence and with minors. But the most important legal developments to be expected in the near future concern not the applicable norms but the system oflegal control; in particular, the question whether this could not be better accomplished outside of the criminal law is being asked with increasing insistence.