Withdrawing Life Support from Patients in a Persistent Vegetative State: the Law in The Netherlands

in European Journal of Health Law
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Abstract

This article sets out how a case like that of ms. Schiavo is likely to be decided in a Dutch court and compares that with the law in the United States. In the Netherlands there is one case with striking similarities: the decision of the Arnhem Court of Appeal of 1989. After describing that case (which to a large extent still reflects the legal state of the art), comments are given on several aspects of the issue, such as the labelling of artifical feeding as a medical intervention, the role of the physician, the position of the proxy or surrogate, the ways to resolve dispute in case of conflict, and the significance of advance directives. The analysis will show that, although there is more consensus on the issue now than there was 16 years ago, there are still several questions that need to be addressed in the future.

Withdrawing Life Support from Patients in a Persistent Vegetative State: the Law in The Netherlands

in European Journal of Health Law

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