[New research on the practice, reporting and reviewing of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions, 2001/2002]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 145, 37, (2001), pp. 1802-1806
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectDisturbances of cerebral development in the young child.; Cerebrale ontwikkelingsstoornissen bij het jonge kind
In the second half of 2001, an extensive study will start which will evaluate the review procedure for euthanasia in the Netherlands. Since the end of 1998, euthanasia has to be reviewed by regional review committees, which include a physician and an ethicist, in addition to a legal expert. The aim of this study is to examine whether the reporting procedure meets the aim and whether there are any points which require improvement. This study follows on from those carried out in 1990/1991 and 1995/1996, which investigated euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions (assisted suicide, termination of life without the patient's explicit request, treatment of pain and symptoms with a possible life-shortening effect, and forgoing potentially life-prolonging treatment). The study consists of an analysis of cases of death (in which the numbers and nature of various medical end-of-life decisions will be established), physician interviews (to gain insight into the context in which medical end-of-life decisions are made), a study of reported cases (to give an overview of doctors' experiences with the review committees), and a study carried out amongst the general public (around 1,500 Dutch adults will be given a written questionnaire about their opinions concerning medical end-of-life decisions and the reporting procedure). In addition to this Dutch study, a European study subsidized by the European Commission is being carried out which will examine attitudes and experiences regarding medical end-of-life decisions in six European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland). This will, for the first time, enable a true comparison to be made between the Netherlands and other countries in terms of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions.
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