Dutch euthanasia law should apply to patients “suffering through living,” report saysBMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7482.61 (Published 06 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:61
- Tony Sheldon
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 …