Florida Journal of International Law


Kasey Joyce


There is not a clear answer on what kinds of cases are the kinds that cause successful requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS), but most of them are diagnoses that hold severe and terminal physical symptoms or those that have chronic and severe psychiatric issues. A lingering question—one that is now being debated and revisited—is whether a diagnosed mental illness falls into the requisite terminal illness definition to pass through the procedure to get the end-of-life care available in the Netherlands. This Note will analyze the standards around what kinds of cases will pass through the Physician Review Board and whether psychiatric cases specifically can be an adequate diagnosis for physician-assisted euthanasia in the Netherlands. Further, it analyzes which kinds of psychiatric cases would pass through if they are indeed the basis for a successful physician-assisted suicide request. The Netherlands has widely been known to be the most accepting of physician-assisted euthanasia in the world; this Note aims to discover how accepting that legal framework is in the case of illnesses that are not necessarily accompanied by physical symptoms.