Dutch Bishops´ Book Aims to Help Debate on Euthanasia Worldwide

English Version Sent to All Episcopal Conferences and Theology Faculties

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UTRECHT, Netherlands, APRIL 18, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Dutch Catholic bishops´ conference has published a book containing all its documents on euthanasia from 1983 to 2001.

The documents were a contribution to the euthanasia debate in the Netherlands. The English translation of the original Dutch texts will be sent to more than 800 addresses, including all bishops´ conferences, cardinals and Catholic faculties of theology worldwide.

The publication responds to many requests, especially from foreign countries, to make accessible to a larger public the Church´s teachings during the process that led to the new legislation on euthanasia. The new law took effect April 1.

Entitled «Euthanasia and Human Dignity,» the 166-page book was published by Peeters in Leuven. The bishops´ contribution to the euthanasia debate «has become, in fact, a counter-movement against a tendency to legalize euthanasia,» Bishop W. Eijk, the conference´s representative for medical ethics, writes in the foreword.

«Many people were not pleased by this,» the bishop notes. In an introductory letter to the book, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, chairman of the bishops´ conference, expresses the hope that the translated documents will be useful «to those in other countries who seek to form an opinion on and gain an orientation about, the question of euthanasia.»

More information about acquiring the book is available at communicatie@rkk.nl.

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