Abstract: Vander Heide A, Geijteman E, Van Delden H. Notification and evaluation of euthanasia. Huisarts Wet 2015;58(6):286-9. Background: In the large majority of cases, Dutch regional euthanasia review committees consider that euthanasia is carried out with due care. This study investigated the information doctors provide to justify their actions and how the review committees evaluate this. Method: A random sample was taken of all notifications made in 2013; 316 case files were analysed. Results: Soundness of mind was often poorly documented, except when there were reasons to doubt the patient’s mental competence. In describing a patient’s suffering, doctors nearly always described physical symptoms; in half the reports psychosocial or other problems were also mentioned. The review committee asked for additional information in 22[%] of the cases, often because of a lack of clarity about the medication used. Additional information about patient suffering was requested if the medical basis for this was not clear. Conclusion: Evaluation of euthanasia procedures involves rather cautious interplay between doctors and review committee. In general, doctors report their actions adequately, although sometimes the information provided is rather brief. The questions asked by review committees are generally meant to clarify the situation and seldom lead to the conclusion that a doctor has acted without due care.

Huisarts en Wetenschap
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Heide, A, Geijteman, E.C.T, & van Delden, J.J.M. (2015). Notification and evaluation of euthanasia. Huisarts en Wetenschap, 58(6), 286–289. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/83083