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Editor - When the Dutch Parliament finally legalised voluntary
euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (by a 104 to 40 vote in November
2000), the BMJ devoted half a page to reporting this important development
When the Belgian Parliament also legalised doctor-assisted dying
(last May, by 86 to 51 in favour), the BMJ told its readers about this
event in thirty-seven words (2).
Does this mean that legalising voluntary euthanasia is regarded as so
inevitable by the BMJ that when a third European country takes this step
(in 2003 or 2004?), this decision will perhaps go unreported?
Michael H.K. Irwin
(1) Netherlands gives more protection to doctors in euthanasia cases.
BMJ 2000;321:1433 (9 December)