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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Physicians and Euthanasia: What about Psychiatric Illness, Dementia and Weltschmerz?

By Eva Bolt
BMJ Blogs
Originally posted on February 18, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Concluding, while most Dutch physicians can conceive of granting requests for euthanasia from patients suffering from cancer or other severe physical diseases, this is not the case in patients suffering from psychiatric disease, dementia or being tired of living. This distinction is partly related to the criteria for due care. For instance, some physicians describe that it is impossible to determine the presence of unbearable suffering in a patient with advanced dementia. Other explanations for the distinction are not related to the criteria for due care. For instance, it is understandable that physicians do not agree with performing euthanasia in a patient with advanced dementia who does not fully understand what is happening, even if the patient has a clear advanced euthanasia directive.

The entire article is here.

The article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is here.