In the November newsletter we noted the first report of the Commission established to oversee the operation of the new euthanasia law. One of the Commission’s comments concerned the problem GPs faced in obtaining the drugs required for people choosing to have an assisted suicide at home. We can now report the initiative of drug company Multipharma, which has decided to make available in all its pharmacies a pack containing all the products a doctor would need in carrying out an approved euthanasia. The response from the Order of Pharmacists was a communiqué talking of “Death caskets”.
In its own newsletter ADMD has pointed out that the company was doing no more than reacting positively to one of the Commission’s findings. These drugs have always been available to pharmacies in principle – but often required several days to obtain. Moreover the Belgian Pharmaceutical Association has announced that it itself envisaged making such packs available. So it is difficult to see what all the fuss was about. Interesting to note that ADMD’s publicity has provoked the Order of Pharmacists to issue a formal response defending their initial reaction, at least partly on the grounds that the “kits” had not yet been given the require d approval for sale.
Source: Newsletter RtD-Europe, September 2005.