In the Netherlands a much debated issue is whether or not people who consider their life ‘to be completed’ should be entitled to get assistance in ending it. The concept ‘completed life’ is the central concept of a discourse that aims to make this entitlement a matter of Dutch legislation. The issue that is at stake at the moment is different and much broader than the issue of euthanasia in the case of people suffering unbearable (one of the criteria in the Dutch law) and this will be explored here by several academics. In this first article on the issue professor Frits de Lange puts the present discourse in a historical perspective. He draws our attention to the fundamental question: when is a life completed? You may read his article here.