University of Twente Student Theses


Wie is het?! Een zoektocht naar de motieven en achtergronden van de euthanasieaanvrager met een psychi(atri)sche achtergrond bij de Levenseindekliniek

Snijders, K.A. (2012) Wie is het?! Een zoektocht naar de motieven en achtergronden van de euthanasieaanvrager met een psychi(atri)sche achtergrond bij de Levenseindekliniek.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Both practical experience and recent research show major problems with the execution of euthanasia policy when it concerns requesters with psychi(atri)c background in the Netherlands. Ethical and executional problems seem to be the causes. The physicians who are responsible for the evaluation of the request, may have ethical objections to euthanasia on general, or specifically to euthanasia on psychi(actri)c grounds. The criteria for euthanasia as been put out by law were formed for the somatic target group and thus causes problems when administered on the psychi(atri)c group. This in turn causes confusion among physicians which leads to rejections when possibly also combined with ethical objections. Less than one in a hundred requests are thus secured, where the numbers in de somatic target group are more than one in three. One in six rejections eventually leads to suicide. To also make euthanasia accessible for the psychi(atri)c group and thus possibly decrease suicide numbers, it’s necessary for the characters of the target group and their suffering to be assessed. This will not only set a firm and recognizable target group image, but also gives rise to the formation of a conceptual framework that will help physicians to evaluate the euthanasia requests of this target group. This research has assessed the characters of euthanasia requesters with psychi(atri)c background and their suffering by analyzing the application forms of the Levenseindekliniek. Ninety six target group requesters were included. Both quantitative and qualitative means of analyzation were used. The target group characterizations show that the majority of the respondents is feminine, lives alone or is widowed and has none or grown up children. Almost all respondents are known in the (mental) health system and have told at least one of their physicians about their (decades) of longing for death. They have requested for euthanasia and ninety percent has been rejected. Respondents claim the major reason is their physicians personal ethical rejection towards euthanasia, followed by interpersonal problems between them. When it comes to the elements of suffering amongst the examined euthanasia requesters, hopelessness about the current situation stands out. For years the requesters have different symptoms/complaints and loss of biological, psychological and social function. These cause loneliness, a lack of social support and make them (feel like) a burden. It’s the complex combination of biological, psychological and social problems with hopelessness that make the suffering unbearable and lead to the wish to die. Most of the respondents have attempted suicide and/or (still) intent to do so. The possibility for euthanasia tempers their suicidal plans because euthanasia is seen as a more humane and less risky alternative to suicide and is thus worth the wait. The found characteristics of suffering show major similarities with those from suicidal persons. The theoretical model that accounts for the suffering of suicidal persons, the interpersonal theory, has been adapted to the current target group by adding elements that lead from the results of this research. The new proposed model is called the model of Voluntary Dying and is presented. The results of this research can be used to form a conceptual framework to assess the suffering of the euthanasia requesters with psychi(atri)c background. To realize such a framework, it’s necessary to do more research to improve and/or confirm the here found patterns and elements in the model of Voluntary Dying. The future research could also focus on the ways to enlighten the effect of the ethical and personal objections towards euthanasia that physicians might have. Research could also focus on the preventive effect of knowing about the alternative euthanasia and effects on those left behind in regard to suicide.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page