Table 3

Setting and content of counselling and collection of lethal medication

CounseleeStart of counselling (time ago)Personal contacts, nInvolved othersInformation about manners to end own life*Collected lethal medicineCounselling about mental aspectsCounselling about/of others
12 months2NoMED (which medication, obtaining, careful performance, consequences of law, after death)NoMeaning and expectations life and death, hope, passion, ambivalence, responsibilityCurrent relationships, effect of self-euthanasia on others, saying goodbye, consequences of law on others
2†3 years6YesVSED, MED (which medication, obtaining, careful preparation, performance)NoDeath wish, meaning life and death, preparing for suicide, emotionsEffect of self-euthanasia on others, preparing others for goodbye, consequences of law on others
33 months6YesPAD, Helium, MED (which medication, obtaining, after death)YesMeaning completed life, death wish, fear of dying alone, emotionsPreparing others for goodbye
41 year‡1NoMED (which medication, obtaining, careful preparation (withdrawal), performance)YesNot mentionedNot mentioned
58 years§24YesMED (which medication, obtaining, storing, performance)YesMeaning life and deathCurrent relationships, saying goodbye, presence of others
6/7¶5 years1NoMED (which medication, obtaining)YesIntake, screening death wishNot mentioned
83–4 years1NoMED (which medication, obtaining, delivery)OrderedNot mentionedNot mentioned
9/10¶2 years1NoMED (which medication, obtaining, storing, testing)NoIntake, screening death wishMeaning relationship
111 year3YesMED (obtaining)NoRighteousness to end own lifeCounselling of others (system)
12/13¶3 years3YesPAD, MED (which medication, obtaining, storing)YesNot mentionedCounselling of others (system)
1410 years3NoPAD, VSED, Helium, MED (which medication, consequences of law, obtaining, careful performance, after death)YesMeaning life (events), timingEffect of self-euthanasia on others, consequences of law on others
151 year1NoVSED, Helium, MED (which medication, careful performance, consequences of law, after death)YesCurrent life situation (grief)Preventing harm to others, consequences of law for others
168–9 years3–4NoMED (which medication, obtaining)YesNot mentionedNot mentioned
171 year1YesMED (which medication, obtaining)YesNot mentionedNot mentioned
  • *PAD: Physician assistance in dying (as under Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Review Procedures Act); VSED: Self-euthanasia by voluntary stopping of eating and drinking; Helium: Self-euthanasia by helium method; MED: Self-euthanasia by self-ingesting self-collected lethal medication.

  • †Partner present at interview to support with gaps in memory.

  • ‡10 years ago present at counselling as partner.

  • §Received counselling 12 years ago from counsellor not active at time of interviews.

  • ¶Couple together.