different moves towards punitive permissiveness
The chapter shows that European countries developed highly different regulations of euthanasia ranging from its prohibition to the permission of passive euthanasia, assisted suicide, or even active euthanasia. While some countries have relied on strategies of absorption and maintained the status quo, others have moved towards a style of punitive permissiveness where laxer rules have been compensated by stricter sanctions. Finally, few countries combined more liberal rules with reduced sanctions, hence moving towards a purely permissive regulatory style. From a theoretical perspective, we should have expected compensatory moves—an approach that is indeed strongly pronounced in our sample. The only country that does not easily fit into these explanations is Germany, which moved towards permissiveness. The fact that we find transmission rather than compensation or absorption is basically an unintended consequence of legal and political complexities: the limited decision-making capacities and high legal complexity of the regulatory matter.
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