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DALT project: guideline for euthanasia in cases of advanced dementia

  • Start: October 2018 
  • Status: ongoing

In October 2018, Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit medical centre (VUmc) launched the DALT project (Dementia, Advance directives, Life Termination). This research project focuses on euthanasia for people suffering dementia, based on a written euthanasia declaration. This study should result in a practical guideline for medical doctors, and is performed by PhD researchers and General Practitioner trainee, Djura Coers.

Description

Medical doctors are reluctant to perform euthanasia on patients with dementia who are no longer capable, on the basis of a written euthanasia declaration. One of the reasons is that the condition of advanced dementia restricts the possibility of meaningful communication and shared decision-making, while doctors feel that this is indispensable. This has led to a growing need for support in dealing with this dilemma.


The study uses a combination of research methods including questionnaires, interviews, a literature study on the legal, jurisprudential and ethical literature, and a Delphi study into the applicability of due diligence in case of incapable patients suffering dementia. The goal is to formulate a guideline for the diligent treatment of euthanasia declarations of incapable patients with dementia.


The study was set up by the departments of General Practice and Elderly Care of the VUmc, headed by Prof. Cees M.P.M. Hertogh. The study will mainly focus on specific case studies, with special attention for the doctor’s perspective. The goal is to connect the results of (fundamental) jurisprudential and ethical research with daily practice. 

Researchers

  • Djura Coers
  • Prof. Cees Hertogh (VUmc)
  • Prof. Carlo Leget (principal applicant)
  • Marike de Boer

Partners

Amsterdam UMC, VUmc

(Co-)financing

This project is funded by ZonMw. 

Zie ook

Artikcle on Verenso.nl (in Dutch)

Contact

Prof. Carlo Leget, C.Leget@UvH.nl.

This research project focuses on euthanasia for people suffering dementia, based on a written euthanasia declaration. This study should result in a practical guideline for medical doctors.