Written directive of decisionally incompetent patients

Crime and delinquency / Assisted suicide

Written directive of decisionally incompetent patients

a study of case law (full text only available in Dutch)


Assited suicide and termination of life on request are criminal offences under article 293 and 294 of the Dutch Criminal Code. According to the same provisions these acts are not punishable if statutary due care criteria, laid down in section 2 of the Termination of Life and Assisted Suicide Act (Wtl), have been met. The second paragraph of section 2 Wtl focusses on the specific situation in which a patient is no longer capable of expressing his will, despite the fact that a written directive has been made by him at a time when he was still decisionally competent. Section 2, par. 2 Wtl provides that in that particular case the doctor can rely on the earlier written directive of the patient. The due care criteria likewise apply here. the implicit legal necessity and discretion to make an assessment are the reasons for this research.

Publication data

Mevis, P.A.M., Bakker, S.R., Postma, L., Verbaan, J.H.J.
Erasmus University Rotterdam -School of Law , WODC
Place of publication:
Erasmus University Rotterdam -School of Law
Year of publication:

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Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam - School of Law
010 4081547
010 5432911