New penalties proposed for Dutch doctors who flout euthanasia lawBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7458.131-b (Published 15 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:131
- Tony Sheldon
Doctors could face a wider range of penalties in future for breaking the Netherlands' legal guidelines on euthanasia and assisted suicide, as part of a package of government measures designed to tighten its policy on “life-ending treatment.”
The government is worried that although research indicates doctors carry out about 3500 cases of euthanasia a year they only report about half that number to the authorities.
At the moment the public prosecution service makes a distinction between cases where doctors disregard “procedural” guidelines, such as failing to consult an independent second doctor, and cases where doctors ignore more weighty “material” guidelines, such as the need for a voluntary and well considered …