Euthanasia and assisted suicide for people with an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder: an examination of nine relevant euthanasia cases in the Netherlands (2012-2016)
OPEN BMC medical ethics | 7 Mar 2018
I Tuffrey-Wijne, L Curfs, I Finlay and S Hollins
Euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) have been legally possible in the Netherlands since 2001, provided that statutory due care criteria are met, including: (a) voluntary and well-considered request; (b) unbearable suffering without prospect of improvement; © informing the patient; (d) lack of a reasonable alternative; (e) independent second physician’s opinion. ‘Unbearable suffering’ must have a medical basis, either somatic or psychiatric, but there is no requirement of limited life expectancy. All EAS cases must be reported and are scrutinised by regional review committees (RTE). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether any particular difficulties arise when the EAS due care criteria are applied to patients with an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder.
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