Barendrechts Dagblad | ‘Waiting time for euthanasia request for mental health care is increasing’

Patients with mental illness have to wait longer and longer before their euthanasia request is assessed. Since December last year, the waiting time at the Euthanasia Expertise Center has increased to two years. That’s what the center in Trouw says.

The further increase in waiting time is only partly due to the corona crisis, says Paulan Stärcke of the Expertise Center. According to her, this has caused a maximum delay of two months. “Our waiting list is mainly a signal that regular mental health care still does not often seriously respond to a request for euthanasia. We are referred to too often,” said Stärcke in the newspaper.

Just like nine months ago, the center employs seven psychiatrists, while more are needed. According to the center, it is not possible to recruit additional employees, while the number of requests for help continues to increase. Last year there were 3,122 requests for help, 22 percent more than in 2018.

The Euthanasia Expertise Center, formerly known as the End of Life Clinic, provided euthanasia to psychiatric patients more than sixty times last year. Doctors who are not affiliated with the center only did so six times. Stärcke wants more psychiatrists to provide euthanasia themselves, because they know the patient best.

By: ANP | Photo: ANP

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