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The Criminal Justice System and Health Care$
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Charles A. Erin and Suzanne Ost

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228294.001.0001

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Criminal Law is the Problem, Not the Solution

Criminal Law is the Problem, Not the Solution

Chapter:
(p.119) 7 Criminal Law is the Problem, Not the Solution
Source:
The Criminal Justice System and Health Care
Author(s):

John Griffiths

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228294.003.0007

Given that medical behaviour that potentially shortens life (MBPSL) should be effectively controlled, this chapter challenges the received wisdom that only the criminal law is powerful enough to provide that control. The analysis demonstrates the significantly different understandings of MBPSL held in the Netherlands, by the prosecuting authorities on the one hand, and members of the medical profession on the other. Despite the distinctive approach to the regulation of euthanasia in the Netherlands, the essential argument in regard of the criminal law is applicable in other jurisdictions. The analysis of why the variance in understanding of MBPSL means that its reporting and regulation will always be problematic gives support to the view that the Netherlands, and other jurisdictions, should consider a direction other than the criminal law for its control.

Keywords:   euthanasia, the Netherlands, self-reporting, decriminalization

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