The Dutch Life End Clinic (“Stichting Levenseinde Kliniek”, further to be called SLK) at a conference in The Hague (see International Congress on the “Levenseindekliniek” in the Netherlands) revealed the experiences of the first half year of their existence. Since their start 456 people were registered as having interest in the assistance of the SLK. Of these 51 were assisted in their death (euthanasia or physician assisted suicide), 30 by their own doctor with the support of the SLK team, the other 21 by the SLK team’s doctor (71% euthanasia and 29% PAS).
94 registered people were refused, because they did not comply with the criteria (see below for what these are); 54 died before the SLK could even start the process (see also below). The remaining 257 are waiting for availability of a SLK team.
Other interesting statistics: of all 68% is over 60 years old, 37,5% is male and over 50% has a physical condition (30% psychiatric, 7% dementia and 10% completed life).
The SLK is mainly financed by donations. Roger van Boxtel (one of the original political founding fathers of the Dutch law and now CEO of a major Dutch Health Care Insurance Company) surprised both conference participants and organisers of the SLK saying his company had decided to pay their clients for using the SLK facilities. As of now, no other insurance companies have followed this example.
The criteria to be accepted by the SLK:
the person concerned
- must have a non-complied with ‘legal’ euthanasia request
- must have a Dutch Health Insurance
- must be a Dutch citizen and resident*
- must – when Dutch citizen but non-resident – have Dutch whereabouts and be able to give access to his/her medical dossier
- must – when being non-Dutch but resident* of NL – posses good communication capabilities
Non-Dutch non-residents never will be allowed registration with the SLK.
*= someone is resident when s/he has been inhabitant of NL for 4 months or longer and is registered at the Communal Basic Registration (GBA) as such.
The procedure for admittance and assistance:
- application (by phone or Internet)
- first analysis by SLK (general criteria)
- retrieve of information from treating doctor (GP and/or specialist)
- SLK assessment of data
- first contact by SLK team (nurse and doctor) with person concerned (phone and/or visit)
- consultation of treating doctor (GP and/or specialist)
- consultation of obligatory second independent doctor (SCEN)
- multidisciplinary assessment in SLK
- consultation with pharmacist who will deliver the medication
- consultation with coroner
- perform euthanasia or PAS according to legal protocol
- report to Review Committee
- assessment of whole process with next of kin
NB: every step of this procedure can lead to (argumented) non-admittance or -assistance
NB: as is shown in the figures presented, the SLK first of all tries to have the own doctor to perform the assisted dying.