Year: 2000 Source: BMJ, v.321, no.7265, (October 7, 2000), p.865-866 SIEC No: 20010684

In 1995, physicians in The Netherlands received 9700 explicit requests for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, of which 37% were granted & carried out. Among the remaining requests, about half were refused by the physician, in the rest of the cases either the patient died before a decision had been reached or the physician’s promise of help could be effected, or the patient withdrew the request. Knowledge of specific characteristics of refused & granted requests for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide may give insight into physicians’ decision-making & into the role of criteria for prudent practice. The authors therefore compare the characteristics of refused & granted requests. (4 refs)