The Netherlands is one of the very few countries that has guidelines for the practice of euthanasia. Each year there are about 9700 explicit requests for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS), of which approximately 3600 patients are agreed upon in The Netherlands. Other countries have criticized the Dutch policy concerning EAS. First of all, it has been suggested that palliative care in The Netherlands is not adequate and that euthanasia is often requested by patients with depression. Additionally, part of the criticism is based on the regulation of the euthanasia procedure in The Netherlands. This chapter describes the guidelines for the procedure for euthanasia in The Netherlands, and focuses on some of the practical problems and issues of euthanasia. Also, the current situation concerning euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in The Netherlands is summarized and described.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.