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WORLD IN BRIEF : NETHERLANDS : Documentary First to Show Euthanasia

October 21, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A documentary chronicling the mercy killing of a severely debilitated man was shown on Dutch television in the first known filming of euthanasia in the Netherlands. The one-hour documentary, "Death Upon Request," told the story of Cees van Wendel de Joode, who suffered from the degenerative muscle disorder Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Van Wendel de Joode was believed to be 55. While mercy killing is still officially illegal in the Netherlands, doctors are guaranteed immunity from prosecution if they follow the euthanasia policy, the most liberal in the industrialized world.

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