Table 1

Differences between physician-assisted dying (PAD) and demedicalised assistance in suicide (DAS) in the Netherlands

FeaturesPAD (medicalised approach)DAS (demedicalised approach)
Relevant law(s)Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Review Procedures Act*Article 294 of the Dutch Penal Code concerning assistance in suicide.†
Jurisprudence concerning Article 294.‡
Law on Narcotics§ (applicable for a suicide through lethal medication).
Person providing assistancePhysicianAny person, eg, a relative, friend, physician or a right-to-die volunteer, counsellor or consultant.
Assistance providedDistributing and/or administering lethal medication after verifying all criteria of due care laid out in the law have been metHaving conversations about the wish to end life, offering moral support and giving general information on ways to end life are not a criminal offence.‡ Note: abetting suicide, distributing of means, offering instructions or practical help are forbidden.†
Ways of dyingPhysician-assisted suicide (patient ingests a lethal drink distributed by physician) or termination of life on request of the patient by intravenous injection (euthanasia)Suicide through a non-mutilating method, like voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, ingesting an overdose of self-collected lethal medication or oxygen deprivation through inhalation of inert gas.