Establishing specialized health services for professional consultation in euthanasia: experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:BMC health services research, Volume 9, p.220 (2009)
Keywords:Belgium, Clinical Competence, Ethicists, Euthanasia, Humans, Netherlands, Program Evaluation, Referral and Consultation, Terminal Care
The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg have adopted laws decriminalizing euthanasia under strict conditions of prudent practice. These laws stipulate, among other things, that the attending physician should consult an independent colleague to judge whether the substantive criteria of due care have been met. In this context initiatives were taken in the Netherlands and Belgium to establish specialized services providing such consultants: Support and Consultation for Euthanasia in the Netherlands (SCEN) and Life End Information Forum (LEIF) in Belgium. The aim of this study is to describe and compare these initiatives.