Euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands in 1990, 1995, and 2001

Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):395-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14029-9.


Empirical data on the rate of euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and other end-of-life decisions have greatly contributed to the debate about the role of such practices in modern health care. In the Netherlands, the continuing debate about whether and when physician-assisted dying is acceptable seems to be resulting in a gradual stabilisation of end-of-life practices. We replicated interview and death-certificate studies done in 1990 and 1995 to investigate whether end-of-life practices had altered between 1995 and 2001. Since 1995, the demand for physician-assisted death has not risen among patients and physicians, who seem to have become somewhat more reluctant in their attitude towards this practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cause of Death
  • Death Certificates
  • Decision Making*
  • Euthanasia / statistics & numerical data
  • Euthanasia / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Right to Die
  • Suicide, Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide, Assisted / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires