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Book and Media Reviews
October 8, 2008

Euthanasia and Law in Europe

JAMA. 2008;300(14):1706. doi:10.1001/jama.300.14.1706

Euthanasia and Law in Europe, a successor to the respected Euthanasia and Law in the Netherlands and cowritten by 2 of the same authors, is a detailed comparison of the legal and practical applications of euthanasia in 11 countries. The countries covered by this book are Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales, with the primary focus on the authors' native countries of the Netherlands and Belgium (the only 2 countries to explicitly legalize euthanasia). The summaries of the remaining countries' approaches to euthanasia are written by medical-legal experts from those countries, resulting in a somewhat disjointed and inconsistent narrative. Although often dry in its stark recitation of statistics and legal verbiage, Euthanasia and Law in Europe does provide a competent explanation of the manner in which the countries approach the practice of euthanasia, allowing for a reasoned prediction of future legalization of euthanasia in Denmark, England, France, and Sweden.

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