Last week, the Levenseindekliniek (Dutch End-of-Life Clinic) published its annual report. The clinic received 1796 requests for help in 2016.
498 requests could be honoured, which means that 70% could not be honoured. This was because of various reasons, such as a lack of information or because the due criteria weren’t met.
Most requests that were honoured, were made by patients with cancer (30%). Besides requests that have a somatic background, the End-of-Life clinic receives a lot of complex cases.This year, 25% of the honoured requests were made by elderly with multiple health issues, 8% by patients with dementia and 27% patients with a psychiatric disorder.
The End-of-Life Clinic remains important, especially in cases with a complex background. Of all requests honoured with a background of geriatric diseases or psychiatric disorder in 2016 in the Netherlands, more than half of the cases is processed by the clinic.
The clinic states they want to continue investing in education and support for general physician. Last year, they started their expertise-centre offering physicians guidance in the process of a euthanasia request. The reasons physicians give for refusing a request are because they doubt if the due criteria are met (42%), because of personal and fundamental grounds (33%), lack of experience (16%) and the relation with the patient (9%).
The End-of-Life clinic was founded by the Dutch Right-to-Die Society (NVVE) in 2012. Doctors working there are willing to reconsider people’s euthanasia requests after their own doctor refused to carry out the request.
Read the full report here (in Dutch only).