Judges make historic ruling on euthanasia

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 02 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:7
  1. T Sheldon

    Doctors in the Netherlands may agree to requests for euthanasia from patients who are neither terminally ill nor suffering physically, according to a historic judgment in the Dutch Supreme Court. In the test case, decided by the country's highest legal authority, psychiatrist Dr Boudewijn Chabot was found guilty of having helped with the suicide of a healthy and competent woman who had wished to die since the death of her two sons. But the court chose not to punish him, though suicide assisted by a doctor carries a three year jail sentence. Dr Chabot had already been acquitted twice, but the public prosecution pursued the case to the highest court.

    The Supreme Court accepted that Dr Chabot had followed guidelines to establish that his …

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