By law, physicians who perform euthanasia or assist in suicide are committing a criminal offence. However, they are not criminally liable if they comply with the statutory due care criteria and notify the municipal pathologist of their actions.
- Voluntary and well-considered request
- Unbearable suffering without prospect of improvement
- Informing the patient
What do the due care criteria say?
The statutory due care criteria say that the physician must:
- be satisfied that the patient’s request is voluntary and well-considered;
- be satisfied that the patient’s suffering is unbearable, with no prospect of improvement;
- have informed the patient about their situation and prognosis;
- have come to the conclusion, together with the patient, that there is no reasonable alternative in the patient’s situation;
- have consulted at least one other, independent physician, who must see the patient and give a written opinion on whether the due care criteria set out above have been fulfilled;
- have exercised due medical care and attention in terminating the patient’s life or assisting in the patient’s suicide.