Doctors and lawyers dealing with Death and Dying, Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 5 days
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Full programme)
    Tuition (Full programme)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #69 ,
In this multi-disciplinary one-week Doctors and lawyers dealing with Death and Dying course from Erasmus University Rotterdam, students will be introduced to the Dutch law on Euthanasia, the medical practices at the end-of-life in and outside of the Netherlands, and the current ethical, legal and medical challenges.


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.

Learning outcomes
Knowledge objectives:
  • Understanding of the Dutch law, in particular the due care requirements.
  • Students can apply this knowledge to cases.
  • The students will have an understanding of the medical guidelines regarding end-of-life decision making.
  • The students will gain background knowledge and insight in discussions on medical decision at the end-of-life.
  • Students will gain an insight in the ethical issues involving medical decisions at the end of life.
  • Students will learn about the practice of end-of-life care in the Netherlands.
  • Students will learn about medical, legal and ethical practices and challenges outside of the Netherlands.
Learning skills
  • Students will learn to reflect on their own viewpoint of end-of-life questions, as well as others.
  • Student will be able to form an argument- based opinion on end-of-life issues.
Partners involved during the summer course
Speakers from Belgium, England, and Switzerland.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 5 days
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    3 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Course design

Day 1

The 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 2

Tuesday 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 3

On 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 4

This 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 5

In 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.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Take IELTS test

Academic Requirements

All courses require a motivation letter and CV upload.

Tuition Fee Per Full Programme

  • EUR 525 International
  • EUR 525 EU/EEA
  • course + course materials


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