Euthanasia: Dutch pharmacists refuse to supply medicinal products

Publié le : 28 April 2014

 Although euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Dutch pharmacists are refusing to supply the lethal medicinal products allowing euthanasia to be carried out. According to Altijd Wat Monitor, a television programme that conducted the survey, this refusal is not necessarily motivated on religious grounds. Some pharmacists are refusing to supply the medication because they do not know the doctor who has approved the euthanasia whilst others are not in favour of euthanasia for dementia or depression. A spokesperson for the Association of Pharmacists explained: “A pharmacy is not a shop supplying only lethal doses“. 

The article emphasises the point that, in the euthanasia protocol, pharmacists have no official role. They are not obliged to co-operate. According to Annemieke Horikx, from the Association of Pharmacists, pharmacists should not be viewed simply as tools in the hands of doctors. Annemieke went on to add that doctors sometimes call pharmacists personally for the medication they require. “This is no way to request medication.  We are dealing here with a matter of life and death“. 

On the other hand, the Green Party MP, Linda Voortman, has expressed her outrage and is demanding intervention from the Health Minister: “Pharmacists should not be able to refuse what doctors have approved“. 

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