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Cover Page of the Law Library Report on the Regulation of Assisted Dying.

New Law Library Report on the Regulation of Assisted Dying Published

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End-of-life decisions, in particular assisted suicide and euthanasia, have been a controversial topic of debate for politics, experts, and the public in many countries for quite some time. Euthanasia is generally defined as the act of causing death to prevent further suffering. It can take the form of active euthanasia (e.g., administering a lethal dose of a drug) or passive euthanasia (withholding life-sustaining treatment). Assisted suicide or physician-assisted suicide is the act of assisting a person in ending their life to prevent further suffering. Some countries have opted to allow either euthanasia or assisted suicide or both, whereas most other countries seem reluctant to do so.

The Global Legal Research Directorate (GLRD) of the Law Library of Congress recently completed research on the regulation of assisted dying in select European jurisdictions, namely Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. We are excited to share with you the report that resulted from this research. It sets out the general legal frameworks on assisted dying and examines whether specific diseases, in particular Parkinson’s disease, were discussed during the parliamentary debates or invoked as a reason for passing the respective laws. This report does not address passive euthanasia. In addition to the jurisdictional surveys, the report includes three charts and a table of primary resources.

Three Charts Depicting Information from the Report on “Regulation of Assisted Dying.” Visuals created by Bailey DeSimone.

We invite you to review the information provided in our report. The report is an addition to the Law Library’s Legal Reports (Publications of the Law Library of Congress) collection, which includes over 4,000 historical and contemporary legal reports covering a variety of jurisdictions, researched and written by foreign law specialists with expertise in each area. To receive alerts when new reports are published, you can subscribe to email updates and the RSS feed for Law Library Reports (click the “subscribe” button on the Law Library’s website). The Law Library also regularly publishes articles related to assisted suicide and euthanasia in the Global Legal Monitor.

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

Comments (2)

  1. i would like information about this!

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