In the Netherlands the government's proposal for the legal regulation of euthanasia, assisted suicide and the termination of a patient's life without request has been approved by Parliament. The defence of this proposal is to a large extent based on a specific interpretation of data about the practice of euthanasia in that country, published in 1991 (the Remmelink Report). This paper discusses both the interpretation of the data and the new law. On the basis of that and other data, the author concludes that many cases of euthanasia, assisted suicide and termination of a patient's life without request remain unnotified and therefore unreviewed by the legal authorities. It is argued that the new law will not guarantee an improvement to this situation. In short, the new law will not protect effectively the lives of patients, and must, therefore, be open to ethical and legal objection.
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