How Dutch Law Got a Little Too Comfortable with Euthanasia

June 10, 2019

(The Atlantic) – In most countries, the debate over physician-assisted suicide has centered on adults in the final stages of incurable physical illnesses. Pothoven’s age and mental illness made her case quite different, which is why the initial English-language news stories on her death sparked such alarm. That uproar subsided when subsequent reports clarified that Pothoven’s euthanasia request had been turned down, and that she had instead died by refusing to eat and drink. This sad outcome does not, however, show that all is well with the Dutch approach to assisted death—or that fears of a slippery slope are merely alarmist.