Under siege: the global fate of euthanasia and assisted-suicide legislation

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Over the last 40 years public views concerning voluntary life-ending behaviours
have changed. The notion of medical doctors being involved in the death of patients
who explicitly request it was widely rejected until the 1960s, but now, at least in
general opinion polls, it is quite widely accepted. For instance, in Australia, in 1962, only 42% agreed to the sanctioning, in principle, of physicians ending the life of a terminally ill patient further to the patientʼs request. This percentage rose to 78% in the 1990s. Similarly, in Canada, the percentage favouring, in principle, a certain level of legalisation of physician-assisted suicide went up from 45% in 1968 to 78% in 1990. In the Netherlands, in 1966, only 40% of the population agreed to the premise that euthanasia could, in certain situations, be acceptable; this rose to over 50% by 1970, and has been consistently over 70% since 1990.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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