In Holland, where I am from, euthanasia is counted as a basic health service, covered by the monthly premium that every citizen pays to his or her insurance company. But doctors are within their rights not to carry it out. In 2002, the parliament in the Hague legalized euthanasia for patients experiencing “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement” but assisted suicide has been committed without punishment since 1973.
A healthcare team of a provider and a nurse assists in the death. The official guidelines require that the patient’s decision is voluntary, well considered and persistent. The decision should be made by more than one doctor, and the doctor and patient should agree that euthanasia is the only reasonable option.
The law states the following:
Euthanasia must be performed in accordance with ‘careful medical practice’, that is, the previously listed official guidelines are to continue to be observed. (These have not been altered, despite their often miserable public record in practice).
*All cases will be evaluated by a legally constituted regional review committee, composed of a lawyer, a doctor, an ethicist, and others.
*Euthanasia and assisted suicide will not be punishable if carried out by a doctor who has complied with the guidelines and reported it to a local medical examiner.
*After satisfying himself that the required procedures had been carried out, the examiner is to send his report to the regional committee and to the prosecutor.
*Children between 12 and 16 must normally have their parents’ consent before they may request euthanasia. However, in ‘exceptional’ cases — those involving serious and incurable disease or intolerable and unrelenting suffering — a doctor may agree to such a child’s request even without parental request. Requests by children aged 16 -17 do not require parental consent, though parents should be involved in decision making.
*Competent patients may request euthanasia, by way of an advance directive, to be later consulted in the event that they have become incompetent.
Of course assisted suicide can be a slippery slope but I believe with the right care team and law in place it should be allowed.
Kouwenhoven, P. S. C., van Thiel, G. J. M. W., van der Heide, A., Rietjens, J. A. C., & van Delden, J. J. M. (2019). Developments in euthanasia practice in the Netherlands: Balancing professional responsibility and the patient’s autonomy. European Journal of General Practice, 25(1), 44–48. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org…