The role of undiagnosed psychiatric disorders in patients requesting euthanasia is an important ethical and professional issue. From June, 1997, until June, 1999, we included a psychiatric consultation as part of our standard procedure for handling euthanasia requests. Of 22 cancer patients who requested euthanasia at short notice: ten had their longstanding and well-considered wish for euthanasia granted; six were denied euthanasia because they did not have such a wish; five were denied because of psychiatric problems; and one was granted the wish despite minor psychiatric symptoms. Our findings suggest that a psychiatrist should be consulted if the treatment team has doubts about a patient's state of mind.

dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03407-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/58390
The Lancet
Department of Psychiatry

Bannink, M, van Gool, A.R, van der Heide, A, & van der Maas, P.J. (2000). Psychiatric consultation and quality of decision making in euthanasia. The Lancet, 356(9247), 2067–2068. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03407-3