series: end of life

In our series on ‘end of life’ several authors address issues related to the topic of dying. Late modern society expects us to take life and dying in our own hands. Dying is under the spell of designing one’s final journey. We have to take care of ourselves, have to be active and autonomous untill the very end.

Nine misunderstandings regarding ‘completed life’

In 2017, a member of the Dutch House of Representatives – Ms Pia Dijkstra – published a legislative proposal under the right of initiative. The proposed act carries the name ‘Wet toetsing levenseindebegeleiding van ouderen op verzoek’ (‘Termination of Life on Request by the Elderly [Review Procedures] Act), and is popularly referred to as the ‘completed life act’. Continue reading Nine misunderstandings regarding ‘completed life’

The wisdom of being ready (without necessarily giving up)

In the Netherlands a much debated issue is whether or not people who consider their life ‘to be completed’ should be able to get assistance in ending it. The concept ‘completed life’ is the central concept of a discourse that aims to make this a matter of Dutch legislation. Continue reading The wisdom of being ready (without necessarily giving up)

Elderly people, ‘completed lives’, and ‘assisted dying’

The back cover text of Els van Wijngaarden’s dissertation Ready to give up on life goes as follows. Older people who consider their lives to be ‘completed’, who suffer from the prospect of having to live on and therefore prefer a self-chosen death: it’s not a new issue. What is relatively new, though, is the current Dutch debate about whether we should legalize, facilitate and institutionalize assisted dying in such cases. Continue reading Elderly people, ‘completed lives’, and ‘assisted dying’