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Study shows Norwegian doctors perform euthanasia 40 times annually

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ole Peder Kjeldstadli, chair of the Norwegian RtD Society Foreningen Retten til en Verdig Død, commented in Dagbladet on an article by Karsten Hytten and Svein Aarseth concerning the practice of euthanasia in Norway. After explaining the differences between passive and active euthanasia, Kjelstadli says “…when the right to self-determination, in principle, is legally respected when it comes to passive euthanasia, it is in my opinion inconsistent not to respect the self-determination when there is talk of (active) euthanasia”. He continues

“…palliative sedation is a process by which permission is given to terminate life. Such a decision, once taken,  cannot be reversed. I cannot therefore understand why, when a competent patient gives permission,  a painful process of dying just as well may be shortened by giving an injection which terminates the life with immediate effect, if it is desirable”.
Although – according to Hytten and Aarseth – all doctors are ethically not allowed to apply (active) euthanasia, a study by Derek  Berry shows that annually 40 doctors each year do perform euthanasia.

Read the article (in Norwegian only) here.

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