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Law That Permits Euthanasia Takes Effect

April 02, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A Dutch law legalizing euthanasia quietly took effect, making the Netherlands the first country to allow doctors to help end the lives of terminally ill patients who wish to die.

Parliament voted last April to permit euthanasia in cases where patients face a future of unbearable, interminable suffering. Those wishing to benefit from the law must make a voluntary, well-considered request to die.

Many Dutch doctors, however, say the law simply decriminalizes a practice that has long been a reality.

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