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The Patient's Wish to DieResearch, Ethics, and Palliative Care$
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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Heike Gudat, and Kathrin Ohnsorge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.001.0001

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Dealing with dilemmas around patients’ wishes to die: moral case deliberation in a Dutch hospice

Dealing with dilemmas around patients’ wishes to die: moral case deliberation in a Dutch hospice

Chapter:
(p.149) Chapter 14 Dealing with dilemmas around patients’ wishes to die: moral case deliberation in a Dutch hospice
Source:
The Patient's Wish to Die
Author(s):

Guy Widdershoven

Margreet Stolper

Bert Molewijk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.003.0014

In the Netherlands, the law allows physicians to assist patients in dying by ending their lives if specific criteria are met. Dutch law on euthanasia presupposes a physician’s conflict of duties when a patient asks for his or her life to be ended. A request for euthanasia implies a dilemma for physicians; on the one hand they have the moral duty not to end life but on the other an obligation to relieve the patient’s suffering. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are also involved in end-of-life care, especially in palliative care. In hospices, physicians and nurses are sometimes confronted with a request for euthanasia, involving moral dilemmas. An example of a moral case deliberation in a Dutch hospice illustrates a joint moral inquiry around the dilemma of a physician concerning a request for euthanasia, showing the importance of involving the experience, views, and emotions of various stakeholders in end-of-life care.

Keywords:   euthanasia, palliative care, moral case deliberation, hospice, moral dilemmas

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