Skip to comments.Dutch doctors complain about long wait for judgments in euthanasia cases
Posted on 09/24/2011 1:10:46 PM PDT by wagglebee
Dutch euthanasia doctors must wait up to eight months to find out if they will undergo criminal investigation. An enormous surge in the number of cases has flooded an already strained reporting system. The Dutch Medical Association calls the situation serious and says there is unrest among doctors.
Under the 2002 law, doctors are obliged to report voluntary euthanasia (where a doctor ends a patients life at his or her explicit request) and assisted suicide (where the doctor helps a patient take a deadly drug) to one of 5 regional assessment committees made up of a doctor, a lawyer and an ethicist.
The committee must be convinced that the doctor has adhered to all criteria for due care or the case must be passed to the public prosecution service and the Healthcare Inspectorate. These criteria include that the patient must be suffering unbearably and hopelessly, and must have made a free and considered request. The patient must also be referred to an independent doctor, and the euthanasia must be conducted in a medically thorough manner.
No prosecutions have been made under the current law, but about a dozen cases are scrutinised each year. A preliminary investigation is undertaken, questioning the doctor to see if there is a criminal case to answer. So far, these have only resulted in conditional warnings.
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So, a doctor, a lawyer and an ethicist walk into a bar...
They want a share of the money eager heirs are lining up to get. Then there will be the doctor that enjoys killing for the sake of killing and wishes to avoid the inconvenience of supervision.
I’m sure that Tony Soprano sympathizes.
Not a single prosecution since 2002? That seems almost impossible.
I had a Catholic friend dying of hepatitis C. He was literally rotting while alive. The doctor told him his death would be particularly gruesome and hard on his family; he was staying at home in the living room. (BTW, the doctor turned out to be right.) The doctor said, If you were to take 5 of the blue pills, 4 of the red ones and 3 yellow ones youd drift into a pleasant fog and gently pass away. To which my friend indignantly said, You arent suggesting I commit suicide! Doctor, hastily, No, no. I was just warning you not to take 5 blue pills, 4 red pills with 3 yellow pills.
My personal view is that a right to die becomes and obligation to die. But a month ago, my father demanded (and had put in writing in advance) that he not receive extreme measures. He was 95 and had lived 10 years in pain and the last five in great pain. The family had to fight constantly with the floor doctor and nursing staff to prevent them from coding him. It took five days to die and we were with him most of the time.
Suppose the hospitals metric wasnt how many people who die there, but how many people they help to die. How soon would it be that they constantly badgered the sick and the families to allow them to end the patients suffering?
Fortunately, we live in America. If you want to kill yourself you can do it on your own. (I liked the American guy who was dying and went to Pakistan in search of Osama. They should have just pointed him in the right direction.)
Death panels! Sarah Palin was right.