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Euthanasia and palliative care 

Euthanasia and palliative care
Euthanasia and palliative care

Lars Johan Materstvedt

and Georg Bosshard

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date: 16 May 2022

This chapter focuses on the particular relationship and interconnections between euthanasia and palliative care. Selected key data on assisted dying are presented. Of central importance is the question of how requests for assisted dying should be handled within palliative care, and as part of addressing this question the chapter includes a discussion of the practice in Belgium, where euthanasia is performed within palliative care institutions. Furthermore, the chapter presents the Swiss model, which practises a much clearer separation between assisted dying and both palliative care and clinical medical practice. Statements on assisted dying made by key palliative care organizations are then presented and analysed. The chapter asks whether the palliative care community will be more accepting of euthanasia in the future, following potential new legislation. The concluding remarks consider the current reluctance of doctors to participate, and the pressures they are under to accept a role, in assisted dying.

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