In the Netherlands, people can receive (limited) so called demedicalised assistance in suicide (DAS)—an option less well known than physician-assisted dying (PAD). In a publication in JME, Martijn Hagens e.a. report on the results of a study to explore which trajectories people take to seek DAS (received by counsellors facilitated by foundation De Einder), through open-coding and inductive analysis of in-depth interviews with 17 people who receive(d) DAS.
The study concludes that while PAD is the preferred option of people in two trajectories, obtaining PAD is uncertain and not always possible. Dissatisfaction with physician–patient communication can result in the physician not being involved in DAS, being unable to diagnose diseases and offer treatment nor offer reassurance that people seem to seek. It closes with a plea for more mutual understanding, respect and empathy for the limitations and possibilities of the position of the physician and the patient in discussing assistance in dying.