One third of doctors have refused a euthanasia request

One third of doctors have refused to carry out a euthanasia request over the past five years, according to a survey of 800 family doctors for television programme EénVandaag.


Around half of the GPs questioned said they had felt pressured by patients or their relatives to help them to die.
And almost 75% said they were unwilling to carry out euthanasia on someone who is worried about unbearable suffering in the future. Only 20% are willing to help a patient who is tired of life.
Rare
Just under 70% of the doctors polled said they had actually carried out euthanasia on a patient over the past five years.
The number of reported deaths by euthanasia rose 13% to 2,636 in 2009. Some 80% of people who opt for mercy killing die at home.
Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.