Table 1

History, aim and working method of Foundation De Einder23

FoundationFoundation De Einder was founded in 1995 as a result of dissatisfaction with the situation that people with a wish to end life were ‘being left out in the cold’.
AimThe goal of the foundation is ‘to promote and—if deemed necessary—to offer professional counselling for people with a wish to end life who ask for help, with respect for the autonomy of the person asking for help […]’.23 Contrary to suicide prevention or crisis intervention organisations, Foundation De Einder regards suicide as a possible outcome and gives information about ‘self-euthanasia’.10 Autonomy is regarded as an important value. Seen as an addition to the—since 2001 in the Netherlands legally regulated— medicalised approach of physician assistance in dying (PAD), Foundation De Einder works in cooperation with independent counsellors to offer counselling focused on demedicalised assistance in suicide (DAS).
Work methodCounsellors working in cooperation with Foundation De Einder offer non-directive counselling, which consists of having conversations, offering mental support and providing general information on ‘self-euthanasia’. These three forms of assistance by lay persons are regarded as non-punishable assistance in suicide.4 The counselling is not aimed at a certain choice or direction, but is aimed at attaining the highest possible quality of the choice and—if it comes to that—the highest possible quality of implementation of the wish to end one’s own life.23 The counselling is aimed at creating an as large as possible clarity regarding the wish to end one’s life and possible suicide. This covers the mental process of decision-making and might include matters like considering alternatives, timing of death and consideration of others. If the client decides to act on his or her desire to end their life, the counselling is aimed at realising the best possible preparations for ‘self-euthanasia’. This covers the practical preparation and might include gathering means for and the effectuation of the suicide.23 24