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In the Netherlands, End-of-Life Is at Center of Debate

End-of-life decisions have taken center stage in the negotiations leading up to the formation of a new Dutch government. Critics have argued that the current policy, which allows euthanasia for patients with early-stage dementia, goes too far. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, one political party leader called for foreign support in protecting “the right to live” in the Netherlands. Other politicians and opinion leaders defended the policy, pointing to the careful and thorough legal and ethical procedures involved. Fewer than one in 20 deaths is the result of euthanasia, and 3 percent of euthanasia cases involve early-stage dementia patients. 

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