Annie Bus of the Netherlands suffered from horrendous pain and paralysis, but not from a terminal illness. She wanted to die anyway. The story of how she got her wish demonstrates how difficult it is to set boundaries in a country that permits assisted suicide.Von Laura Höflinger
A pro-euthanasia lobbying group in the Netherlands has set up a suicide clinic and formed teams of doctors that make house calls to people who wish to die. Although euthanasia is legal in the country if certain conditions are met, critics say mobile suicide teams go too far.Von Laura Höflinger
A recent survey indicates that 37 percent of doctors in Germany would consider helping a terminally ill patient die, despite German Medical Association guidelines that say this is unethical. Jörg-Dietrich Hoppe, president of the association, discusses the country's debate over assisted suicide, euthanasia and the need to develop new guidelines.
Michael de Ridder, the head of the emergency ward at a Berlin hospital and author of a new book on dying, discusses how modern medical advances are making death more complicated for patients with little hope of living. His book makes a plea for doctors to allow people to die with greater dignity.
A debate is currently raging in Italy as to whether a coma patient should be allowed to die or not. Now that Prime Minister Berlusconi has become closely involved, the question has become a constitutional one as well.
Should police be permitted to stop the work of a former Hamburg official who now sells assisted suicide services? The issue is now headed to court and it could result in a fundamental German ruling on an issue that has divided people across Europe.Von Caroline Schmidt und Andreas Ulrich