“If Only I Could Start All over…” A Case Study of Spiritual Care Provision to a Patient with a Psychiatric Disorder Requesting Physician-Assisted Dying in The Netherlands

In a growing number of countries, legislation permits physicians—under strict conditions—to grant a request for physician-assisted dying (PAD). Legally allowing for the possibility of granting such a request is in accordance with central humanistic values such as respect for autonomy and self-determination. The Netherlands is one of few countries where severe suffering from a psychiatric illness qualifies as a ground for a request for PAD.


Central in this article is a case description of spiritual care provision in the Netherlands by a humanist healthcare chaplain to a patient requesting PAD because of psychiatric suffering. We discuss what we may learn from the case description about how spiritual caregivers may support patients who express a wish to die, and about their contribution to the care for patients with a psychiatric disorder who request PAD.

Carmen Schuhmann, Marianne C. Snijdewind ,Lisa van Duijvenbooden and Geert E. Smid | 2021
In: Religions : ISSN: 2077-1444 | 12 | 9 | 672
Assisted Suicide, Netherlands, Spirituality
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