The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), which is strongly in favour of euthanasia, has published a position paper claiming that all Dutch doctors have a professional duty to be complicit in euthanasia–either by directly killing legally qualified patients who ask, or, if they don’t want to do the deed personally, by referring suicidal patients to another doctor to be killed. The Role of the Physician in the Voluntary Termination of Life expresses concern that patients “often have difficulty telling a physician they have an authentic wish to die.” Doctors are obliged to take such requests seriously. This means “that if a physician cannot or does not wish to honour a patient’s request for euthanasia or assisted suicide he must give the patient a timely and clear explanation of why, and furthermore must then refer or transfer the patient to another physician in good time.” Any action that could deter or delay a patient from availing of euthanasia demonstrates “a lack of professionalism”.
If a patient does not legally qualify for euthanasia, the KMNG recommends that a doctor may refer him/her to how-to-commit-suicide literature:
“There is no punishment for physicians and other persons if they provide information about suicide. Physicians are also legally permitted to refer patients to information that is available on the Internet or to publications sold by book vendors, or provide these on loan, and to discuss this information with patients.”
First Things Blog. September 8. KNMG. June.
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