The first meeting of the IASP Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide took place in Venice on June 7, 1995. Several interested observers were present. It was decided that at the public IASP meeting the following day each speaker should address, briefly, the current legal situation and the pressure for change, as well as give a personal statement. David Clark spoke for North America, Bob Goldney for Australia, Michael Kelleher for Britain and Ireland, Jerzy Wasserman for Scandinavia, and Hans Wedler for the German-speaking world. Their views are published in this article. Ad Kerkhof requested that the Dutch television film "Death on Request" be discussed. The committee was of the opinion that clear definitions were essential. In their view, these should take into account the differences between active and passive euthanasia, as well as between professionally assisted and lay-assisted suicide.