Widespread Support 1905-1906 - Bills to Legalize Euthanasia Are Defeated in Ohio ... 2001 - Netherlands Legalizes Euthanasia. Both euthanasia, where doctors actively kill patients, and assisted suicide… Euthanasia has been known to be regularly practised in the Netherlands since 1973, even though Article 293 of the Penal Code provided that a person who takes the life of another person at that person's 'express and serious' request was punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of 12 years or by fine. The first countries to legalize euthanasia were the Netherlands in 2001 and Belgium in 2002. The Netherlands officially legalizes euthanasia. The Irony of History — During World War ll, Holland was the only occupied country whose doctors refused to participate in the German euthanasia program. 1900-1949. Dutch physicians openly defied an order to treat only those patients who had a good chance of full recovery. In 1984 the Dutch Supreme Court ruled voluntary euthanasia was acceptable, provided doctors followed strict guidelines. It is a broad heading for several individual practices that aim to either voluntarily or involuntarily take the life of another judged to be in severe physical pain either out of mercy for the individual or for the good of the whole. In 1997 Oregon became the first state in the United States to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide; opponents of the controversial law, however, attempted to have it overturned. But, under Dutch criminal law, physicians could still face prosecution. Euthanasia is a term surrounded by a myriad of questions and concerns.

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD "The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain," Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 15, 1994 . In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in the world that made it legal for doctors to help people die. In the fall 2000, the Dutch parliament voted to formally legalize the practice, making the Netherlands the first nation in the world to do so.

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