Amsterdam’s AMC teaching hospital has sent an apology to the widow of a doctor who killed himself after being investigated for killing a dying patient.
Nico Tromp, a family doctor from the Noord Holland village of Tuitjenhorn, killed himself six days after being suspended following a complaint from a trainee doctor.
The hospital said in an email it should have spoken to Tromp personally about the allegations before bringing in the health inspectorate, Nos television reported.
The hospital also said it would like to meet the widow to discuss what happened. She has so far refused to meet AMC officials.
In the email the hospital says it has discussed the case with experts and doctors in Noord Holland and concluded that it had not followed procedures properly and should have spoken to the doctor himself.
The case was reported to the hospital by a trainee doctor who was with Tromp when he gave the terminally-ill cancer patient morphine. She said the doctor had given the patient too much of the drug.
Doctors’ organisations have raised concerns about the suspension, and the fact that Tromp’s house was raided late at night by four police officers.
The widow of Theo Spaansen, the man helped to die by the doctor, is furious with the health ministry and says the doctor did his best with her husband. Spaansen was sent home from hospital because he wanted to die in familiar surroundings.
A survey of family doctors earlier this week found that one in 10 has given dying patients a too-high dose of morphine or other painkiller in order to speed up their death.
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