[Utilization of euthanatic agents; experience of physicians with 227 patients, 1998-2000]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Dec 23;144(52):2497-500.
[Article in Dutch]


Objective: To determine the experiences of physicians in the application of euthanatics.

Design: Descriptive.

Method: The report 'Toepassing en bereiding van euthanatica' [Use and Preparation of Euthanatics] prepared by the national pharmacists' association contains a questionnaire for physicians regarding the condition of the patient, the method followed and time till death. The report was sent on request 723 times. From August 1998 until May 2000, 227 questionnaires were returned by general practitioners. These questionnaires were analysed.

Results: In 73.1% of the cases the euthanatic substance was given intravenously, in 26.4% orally. Time until death varied from 0 to 30 min when applied intravenously and 8 minutes to 7 hours when applied orally. On 51 questionnaires problems were registered which may occur when euthanatics are applied: difficult intravenous injection, too large volume of solute for the thiopental, deposit in the syringe, too little time between the intravenous administration and decease, unpleasant taste of euthanatic drink, too large volume of euthanatic drink, and too much time between the oral intake of the drink and decease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Central Nervous System Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Drug Combinations
  • Euthanasia / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Physician's Role*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Suicide, Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Drug Combinations