Intended for healthcare professionals


Euthanasia reporting is increasing but is still low

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1423

Most Dutch doctors do not fulfil the legal obligations to report cases of euthanasia, according to a unique confidential study. But the researchers found that reporting has reached 41%, and the Royal Dutch Medical Association believes every act of euthanasia could be performed openly by the end of the century.

The four part study ordered by the Dutch government to evaluate the euthanasia reporting procedure entailed interviewing 1250 doctors, as well as coroners and magistrates. The response rate from doctors was between 84% and 98%. The study shows that reporting increased from 18% to 41% over five years, which, it argues, has strengthened social control and shows that decisions about the end of life are taken with increasing care.

The 59% of doctors still not notifying the …

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