The Fight to Die

This is the story of how public indignation about the prosecution of a physician who helped her suffering mother die, developed, after 30 years of campaigning, into the adoption of the world’s first dignity in dying law in the Netherlands.

Almost all protagonists in this troubled history talk about their personal dilemmas and controversies regarding legislation of a self-chosen ending of life. From doctors who found themselves caught between the criminal law and the urge to help their patients in need, to attorneys who defended them by finding new ways to determine ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
After several key court cases and the coming to power of a left-liberal House of Parliament the unique law finally came into being in 2002. Advocates and opponents comment the law.

‘The Fight to Die’ was commissioned by the Dutch Dying in Dignity, NVVE, to document the Dutch answer to people who experience unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement.

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