This study used retrospective interviews with 87 relatives to describe the experiences of patients who died by euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) in the Netherlands. Most of the patients suffered from cancer (85%). The relatives were most often a partner (63%) or a child (28%) of the patient. Before explicitly requesting EAS most patients (79%) had spoken about their wishes concerning medical end-of-life decisions to be made at a later date. Hopeless suffering, loss of dignity, and no prospect of recovery were the most prevalent reasons for explicitly requesting EAS. According to the relative, in 92% of patients EAS had contributed favourably to the quality of the end of life, mainly by preventing or ending suffering. Copyright,
Death Studies: counseling - research - education - care - ethics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Georges, J.-J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B., Muller, M., van der Wal, G., van der Heide, A., & van der Maas, P. (2007). Relatives' perspective on the terminally ill patients who died after euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide: A retrospective cross-sectional interview study in the Netherlands. Death Studies: counseling - research - education - care - ethics, 31(1), 1–15. doi:10.1080/07481180600985041