A Life Fulfilled: Should There Be Assisted Suicide for Those Who Are Done with Living?
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics , Volume 27 - Issue 3 p. 366- 375
The issue of assisted suicide for those with a fulfilled life is being hotly debated in the Netherlands. A large number of Dutch people feel that elderly people (i.e., people who have reached the age of 70) with a fulfilled life should have access to assisted suicide. Citizens have therefore requested Parliament to expand the existing legislation that governs euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. The Dutch constitution does not permit national legislation to be incompatible with higher international (human rights) law. An analysis of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights shows that a person's right to decide on the time and manner of his or her death should be regarded as an aspect of the right to privacy. Although no positive obligation has been imposed on parties to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to facilitate suicide, they may do so, provided that certain conditions are met.