Last-Minute Recovery of a Psychiatric Patient Requesting Physician-Assisted Death

S. M.P. van Veen, W. F.J. Scheurleer, M. L. Ruijsch, C. H. Röder, G. A.M. Widdershoven, A. Batalla

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Physician-assisted death is becoming legal in an increasing number of jurisdictions, but psychiatric patients are often explicitly excluded. However, in some countries, including the Netherlands, physician-assisted death of psychiatric patients is allowed. This Open Forum describes a patient with schizophrenia and symptoms diagnosed as refractory musical hallucinations. The patient requested assistance in dying only to recover after a mandatory second opinion, where his complaints were recognized as intrusive thoughts and treated accordingly. This case is used to reflect on how to deal with uncertainty about physician-assisted death of psychiatric patients and to argue for implementation of a due-diligence procedure, such as the one proposed in the Dutch Psychiatric Association's recent guideline concerning this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-623
Number of pages3
JournalPsychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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