The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world with a legal provision to allow physicians to provide their patients with assistance in dying. Having such regulation, however, has not ended the societal debate about the role of physicians in death and dying. Complicated ethical and legal problems remain for many patient groups, such as children between 1-12 years old, psychiatric patients, individuals who are tired of life, and patients with dementia. In addition, ethical and legal challenges exist because of the procedural difference in euthanasia and assisted suicide on the one hand (both acts under criminal law that need to be reported and reviewed) and palliative sedation on the other hand (which is considered normal medical treatment that requires no reporting). At the moment, many other countries are engaged in the question of whether to sanction assistance in suicide and/or euthanasia.
The aim of this Doctors and lawyers dealing with Death and Dying course from Erasmus University Rotterdam is to broaden the knowledge of the students (and doctors) on various medical, legal, and ethical challenges of questions at the end of life, and learn to reflect on these issues.
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
Day 1The first day will consist of introductory lectures, as well as an active workshop, by experts on end of life issues from i) a criminal law, ii) an ethical, iii) a public health, iv) a sociological, and v) a human rights perspective. The day will be concluded with a pub quiz.
Day 2Tuesday morning, lectures will be given on palliative sedation and morphine use at the end of life. The afternoon will be reserved for speakers active in the field, among which a General Practitioner, a pastor, a palliative care physician, and a member of the Dutch Regional Euthanasia Committee. The afternoon will be concluded with a panel discussion. In the evening we will show a documentary on euthanasia.
Day 3On this day, we will mainly focus on specific patient groups: children, psychiatric patients, patients with dementia, and elderly who are tired of life. Lectures will be given by invited speakers who are experts in this field. In the afternoon, we will organize a bike excursion to highlights in Rotterdam, concluded with drinks.
Day 4This day will focus on end-of-life issues in other European countries. Expert speakers are invited from Belgium, England and Switzerland. These countries all differ in legal provisions (or lack thereof) for physician- assisted dying. Invited speakers will be doctors, lawyers and/or ethicists.
Day 5In the morning, experts will reflect on the influence of societal and political issues on end of life practice. In the afternoon, students will be invited to give group presentations.
Mainly PhD-students, but also MA students.
Course leader: Sonja Wendel.
All courses require a motivation letter and CV upload.
Check the programme website for information about funding options.
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