Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 129–131 | Cite as

Pharmaceutical care until the end: the role of pharmacists in euthanasia in the Netherlands

  • N.J. Naafs


Euthanasia and physician‐assisted suicide continue to remain a controversial point of discussion in today's society. Patients will seek to increase their role in the decisions concerning their own health and death care. Pharmacists are also confronted with euthanasia: they not only have to provide the necessary drugs, but are also affected in every area of their life. Euthanasia can be seen as a contradiction to the mission of pharmacy practice. If, however, the activities of pharmacists include pharmaceutical care, the contradiction may not necessarily be present. Pharmaceutical care begins with the recognition that responsibilities of patient care cannot be relegated solely to other health professionals. Pharmaceutical care recognizes some of the most important needs of the terminally ill. If based on a patient‐centered approach, euthanasia might be a logical last step in the efforts to alleviate the patient's sufferings.

Assisted suicide Euthanasia Pharmaceutical care Pharmacists 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • N.J. Naafs
    • 1
  1. 1.Raalter ApotheekRaalteThe Netherlands

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