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The situation in other countries (Netherlands).

Denmark--The relatives of a terminally ill patient can decide to have medical treatments withdrawn. Since 1992, in the case of terminal illness or grave accident, the Danes can execute a "medical testament," which doctors must respect.

Sweden--to "assist in suicide" is not a crime punishable by law. In extreme cases, a doctor can shut down a respiratory machine.

United Kingdom--euthanasia is illegal; however, in 1993 and 1994 the justice system authorized some doctors to end the life of patients kept alive artificially. In a first, a patient in Scotland in 1996 was "authorized to die."

France--the government Committee of Ethics in Medicine and Biology (CCNE) last March opened the door to the possibility of euthanasia in "exceptional" cases. The committee, which is the highest consultative body in France on ethical questions in medicine and biology, listed as exceptional cases those in which pain cannot be controlled.

United States--federal law prohibits euthanasia. Since 1994, Oregon is the only state that allows euthanasia. It allows it for terminally ill patients if a formal application is presented. In April 1996, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over New York, Vermont and Connecticut, authorized medical euthanasia.

Colombia--in May 1997, the Constitutional Court allowed euthanasia for patients in the terminal phase, who specifically request it.

China--allows hospitals to practice euthanasia for incurable patients in their terminal phase.

Australia--in 1996 the Parliament of the Northern Territories voted on a law to legalize euthanasia. But the law was abrogated at the federal level a few months later.

Canada--the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the Latimer case in which a father murdered his 12-year-old disabled daughter.
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Title Annotation:euthanasia law
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Will it spread to other countries? (Netherlands).
Next Article:Most popular Catholic spot in 1999 (Spain).

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