[Moral case deliberation in complex euthanasia requests]

S Metselaar, M V van Schaik, A C Molewijk, G A M Widdershoven
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2020 June 18, 164
Dealing with euthanasia requests can be a complex matter for a doctor. How to determine whether the due diligence criteria of the Dutch Euthanasia Act are met in cases that are not straightforward? We argue that moral case deliberation (MCD), methodically structured reflective discussions on concrete moral dilemmas, can provide support in dealing with complex euthanasia requests. In this article, we discuss a case that was talked about during a MCD (in particular the CURA method, where CURA stands for 'concentrating, postponing, reflecting and action') by a group of GPs and nurses who met in the context of a network for ambulatory palliative care.This was about an older patient with multiple chronic conditions who lost any prospects of quality of life.Among other things, it was examined whether requests could be 'well-considered' (one of the due diligence criteria) when the patients are in doubt as to when euthanasia should be carried out.The importance of recognising one's own emotions as a doctor and the quality of communication between patient and doctor were also considered.For that reason, we try to show that MCD can assist in making careful and well-considered decisions when determining a course of action in the case of complex euthanasia requests and can encourage collaborative learning processes.

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