Table 3 Specific aspects of problems with the Dutch criteria of due care about requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide*
General practitioner %†Medical specialist %†Nursing-home physician %†Total %†
n = 61n = 45n = 50n = 158‡
Patient’s request—problems to assess whether:§
    Patient’s request was well considered20323423
    Patient’s request was entirely voluntary, without pressure from others15223018
    Patient’s view of the severity of the disease was appropriate18181818
Patient’s suffering—problems to assess whether:§
    Patient themself experienced their suffering as unbearable30192728
    They themselves were convinced of the patient’s unbearable suffering57276353
    They themselves were convinced of the patient’s hopeless suffering17222418
    Patient’s situation would be unbearable and hopeless in a very short time1519615
Presence or absence of reasonable alternatives—problems to (assess whether):§
    There were reasonable alternatives for the underlying suffering of patient71187
    There were reasonable alternatives for the signs and symptoms of patient1710815
    Discuss reasonable alternatives with the patient1281612
  • *The types of problems caused by the other criteria are presented in the text only due to the small number of these cases.

  • †Percentages weighted for different sampling fractions and response rates.

  • ‡For two physicians, the specialty was unknown.

  • §One or more answers could be given.

  • ¶Other includes: strong pressure from patient or family to perform euthanasia, patient is incompetent, “it’s difficult,” not accepting palliative treatment.