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A new position paper just published by the Dutch Physicians Association
(KNMG) says unbearable and lasting suffering should not be the only
criteria physicians consider when a patient requests euthanasia.

The KNMG says the new guidelines will clarify the responsibilities,
possibilities and limitations that physicians have within the
regulations of the 2002 euthanasia law (Termination of Life on Request
and Assisted Suicide [Review Procedures] Act or Euthanasia Act for short).

Until now, factors such as income or a patient’s social life played
almost no role when physicians were considering a euthanasia request.
However, the new guidelines will certainly change that. After almost a
year of discussions, the KNMG has published a paper which says social
factors and diseases and ailments that are not terminal may also qualify
as unbearable and lasting suffering under the Euthanasia Act.

At the moment, there are approximately one million elderly people in the
Netherlands with multi-morbidity (two or more long-term diseases or
ailments) and that number is expected to rise to 1.5 million in the
course of the coming decade. According to the new guidelines,
vulnerability (or fragility) refers to health problems, and the ensuing
limitations, as well as a concurrent decline in other areas of life such
as financial resources, social network and social skills.
Read the whole very interesting article at

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