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date: 11 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dying is often the end of a protracted disease process that involves a more or less gradual deterioration of the quality of life. Terminally ill people often foresee their own death, and having some sense of control over the dying process is important for many of them. Some consider physician assistance in suicide or euthanasia as a last resort for a dignified death. Several countries have legalized such assistance in dying, sometimes after a period of heated debate. One of the most important arguments in this debate states that it is wrong to allow physician assistance in dying because the negative consequences outweigh potential benefits. To date, extensive research has not yielded clear evidence that legalization of physician assistance in dying has resulted in a slippery slope, that is, in a tendency to provide assistance in dying to vulnerable or incompetent patient groups.

Keywords: end-of-life care, palliative care, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, death and dying, health law

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