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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Euthanasia: Searching for the Full Story

Experiences and Insights of Belgian Doctors and Nurses


  • Offers a new critical analysis of euthanasia

  • Written by health care professionals in Belgium – where euthanasia has been legal for 17 years

  • Provides a real-world multidisciplinary approach with contributions of hematologists, psychiatrists, palliative care doctors, nurses and an ethicist

  • Present lessons learned from the application of laws in countries that have legalized euthanasia

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xx
  2. The Slippery Slope Syndrome

    • Eric Vermeer
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. The Doctor Turned into an Instrument

    • Catherine Dopchie
    Pages 15-24Open Access
  4. Euthanasia for Unbearable Psychological Suffering

    • An Haekens
    Pages 39-47Open Access
  5. Resisting

    • Julie Blanchard
    Pages 85-91Open Access
  6. Behind the Scenes of Euthanasia

    • François Trufin
    Pages 93-103Open Access
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 105-110

About this book

This open access book has been written by ten Belgian health care professionals, nurses, university professors and doctors specializing in palliative care and ethicists who, together, raise questions concerning the practice of euthanasia.  They share their experiences and reflections born out of their confrontation with requests for euthanasia and end-of-life support in a country where euthanasia has been decriminalized since 2002 and is now becoming a trivial topic.
Far from evoking any militancy, these stories of life and death present the other side of a reality needs to be evaluated more rigorously.
Featuring multidisciplinary perspectives, this though-provoking and original book is intended not only for caregivers but also for anyone who questions the meaning of death and suffering, as well as the impact of a law passed in 2002. Presenting real-world cases and experiences, it highlights the complexity of situations and the consequences of the euthanasia law.
This book appeals to palliative care providers, hematologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, nurses and health professionals as well as researchers, academics, policy-makers, and social scientists working in health care. It is also a unique resource for those in countries where the decriminalization of euthanasia is being considered. Sometimes shocking, it focuses on facts and lived experiences to challenge readers and offer insights into euthanasia in Belgium.


  • Palliative Care
  • Bioethics
  • Critical views
  • Therapeutic obstinacy
  • Meaning of life
  • Slippery slope
  • Experiences from daily practice
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Haematology, Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

    Timothy Devos

About the editor

Professor Dr Timothy Devos is an internist-haematologist. Appointed in 2007 at the Leuven University Hospitals (UZ Leuven) in Belgium, he became a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in 2009. His special clinical and research interests are palliative care, myeloproliferative syndromes and blood transfusion. He is the reference doctor in palliative care of the Haematology team at UZ Leuven.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Euthanasia: Searching for the Full Story

  • Book Subtitle: Experiences and Insights of Belgian Doctors and Nurses

  • Editors: Timothy Devos

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • License: CC BY

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-56794-1Published: 18 March 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-56795-8Published: 17 March 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XX, 110

  • Topics: Palliative Care, Hematology, Oncology, Bioethics, Nursing Ethics, Psychiatry

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)