News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Dutch euthanasia law should apply to patients “suffering through living,” report says

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 06 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:61
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    Doctors can help patients who ask for help to die even though they may not be ill but “suffering through living,” concludes a three year inquiry commissioned by the Royal Dutch Medical Association. The report argues that no reason can be given to exclude situations of such suffering from a doctor's area of competence.

    The conclusion has reopened a fierce debate over what constitutes grounds for requesting euthanasia, as it contradicts a landmark Supreme Court decision that a patient must have a “classifiable physical or mental condition.” The 2002 ruling upheld a guilty verdict on a GP for helping his 86 year old patient die, even though he was not technically ill but obsessed with his …

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