NRL News

Dutch doctors have the right to refuse to participate in euthanasia, medical federation affirms

by | Jan 6, 2016

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

knmg-450x254The Dutch Medical Federation (KNMG) has affirmed the conscience rights of doctors to refuse to participate in euthanasia.

The DutchNews.NL reported

Dutch doctors must retain the right to refuse to help their patients to die, the doctors’ federation KNMG has told the NRC [a Dutch newspaper]. While most doctors back euthanasia, or assisted dying, they should never be compelled to cooperate, Rutger Jan van der Gaag [the president of KNMG] is quoted as saying. Euthanasia should not be something that can be forced on doctors, he said.

‘The doctor is currently an important safety catch who makes sure that reasonable alternatives [to euthanasia] are not ignored and that the drugs are not misused,’ Van der Gaag told the NRC.

The Dutch voluntary euthanasia society last year re-launched its campaign to have a pill made available to elderly people who wish to end their lives.

Québec doctors have been told that they must refer their patient to die by euthanasia, even if they oppose euthanasia. The Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia are fighting this decree.

Doctors in Ontario and Saskatchewan have also been told that they will have to refer their patients to death. Medical groups in Canada need to recognize that even the Netherlands is not forcing doctors to kill.

Protect physicians’ conscience rights in Canada at:

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Categories: Euthanasia