Euthanasia: the efficacy of Dutch legislation challenged

Publié le 20 Nov, 2017

A study carried out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that Dutch committees responsible for evaluating euthanasia cases (RTE) tend to focus essentially on complying with the procedure “without checking whether the patient is actually eligible for euthanasia“.


David Miller and Doctor Scott Kim, both from the NIH Department of Bioethics, analysed thirty-three cases between 2012 and 2016 where RTE committees believe that the criteria have not been satisfied.  


According to the authors, “even when the basic criteria were challenged, the RTE did not check whether the doctor had made a “correct judgement“, their aim being to focus on compliance with the criteria relating to the process of assisted suicide.


In twenty-two cases, doctors are alleged not to have respected the stringent criteria relating to the current procedure [1]despite the fact that the methodology relating to these criteria is clearly identified. In fourteen cases, doctors did not follow essential medical care procedures and used medication incorrectly (dosage, administration or order of administration), and for six patients, the doctor had not been sufficiently rigorous in applying the “intolerable suffering” criterion.


Further reading:

Euthanasia: Criminal investigation in the Netherlands against a doctor

The Netherlands: Euthanasia authorised for an alcoholic


[1] Criteria that include appropriate medical care and a consultation with an independent physician. 

BioEdge, Xavier Symons (04/11/2017)

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