'Wanted statement euthanasia in many cases outdated'

A relatively small proportion of people with a declaration of will for euthanasia regularly update this. This is shown by research done by GP Matthijs van Wijmen Faithful Wednesday about message. The result may be that the statement is outdated, so that a doctor may not proceed to euthanasia. Van Wijmen advises people to regularly discuss their euthanasia with their GP.

Van Wijmen has followed four thousand members of the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End of Life (NVVE) and a thousand members of the Dutch Patient Association (NPV) for six years. In that period, only 42 and 28 percent of patients, respectively, once again discussed the advance directive with a doctor, writes Faithful.


Doctors are only allowed to grant euthanasia if they are sure that this wish is as current as ever. How often a patient has to update the advance declaration with her or his doctor, the researcher in the newspaper can not say. However, the NVVE will send a reminder to people who have taken a model declaration from the association more than five years ago. The organization also says that it works on a guideline in consultation with the KNMG medical federation.

The study did not show that patients often adjust their wishes. "By far the most" left the statement unchanged when a major change took place in their lives, such as after a partner's death or illness.

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