Johannes Achterberg published “Libertà di decidere” (freedom to choose), a book on the Dutch End-of-Life practice in Italian. In his preface he states: “The great advantage of a pensionado is that he has so much time to be curious. A curiosity that motivates him to delve into topics of any kind. It so happens to discover that much news is manipulated or does not correspond entirely or in part with the reality. Politicians in particular are masters in harnessing the ignorance of citizens by not informing them or only on the aspects that serve to achieve their goals.
What struck me most as Dutchman, although I have lived for almost fifty years in Italy, is the news that concerns the euthanasia in my country. ….. The open mentality that characterizes Holland has seen to, from the sixties onwards, the discussion on the theme of death and the self determination of citizens, on how to put an end to a life of suffering without hope of healing. ….. To remedy this situation I told myself that I could gather the information available on the euthanasia and the assisted in the Netherlands, synthesize them in a reality and bring them to the attention of the public. ‘Saying’ it is easy, but ‘doing’ so took a long time”.
In his book he deals with the Dutch history of case-law, the 2001 Dutch Euthanasia Law, the evaluations of the law, the review system and a number of capita selecta (dementia, psychiatry). A very informative publication for the Italian reader.
Libertà di decidere by Johannes Achterberg – New Press edizioni – ISBN 978-88-9356-023-8