The final report presented by the expert working group to Minister Krista Kiuru deals with two legislative options on how possible death aid could be legalized in Finland. The third option is that assisted suicide and euthanasia are still not allowed.
Life the final-stage expert working group did not reach a consensus on whether physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia should be allowed in Finland.
Instead, the working group agreed on the need to develop palliative care and hospice care and to improve their availability and expertise. According to the working group, there are significant regional differences in palliative care and convalescent care. There is also a significant shortage of skills.
The current shortcomings will not be remedied by recommendations, but changes in legislation are needed, said the expert working group on end-of-life care on Tuesday, Minister of Family and Basic Services To Krista Kiuru (sd) in the submitted final report. In the report, the group lists the necessary changes to the legislation.
In the spring of 2018, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health set up a working group of experts to deal with the legalization of euthanasia. The creation of the working group was based on a citizens’ initiative to legalize euthanasia, which did not progress in parliament.
Working group the aim was to identify legislative needs related to end-of-life care, self-determination, hospice care and euthanasia.
In the final report, the working group does not present a unanimous view on whether medical-assisted suicide or euthanasia should be legalized in Finland.
Two legislative amendment options on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have been prepared for the report. The report outlines, among other things, the legal and ethical issues that would need to be considered if progress were to be made.
According to the working group, the third option is to stick to the current legislation.
Report according to one of the key questions is whether a possible change in the law would be limited to physician-assisted suicide or whether it would also cover euthanasia.
Physician-assisted suicide means that the doctor would make a lethal drug available to the patient and the patient would take the drug himself. If the patient would not be able to take the medicine himself due to physical limitations, he could ask for help.
In euthanasia, the doctor would give the patient death relief by giving the patient an intravenous death-inducing drug.
Working group In the legislative options prepared by the Commission, option A would be more limited and would allow medical-assisted suicide.
Legislative option B would be more permissive and would cover both medical-assisted suicide and euthanasia.
In both alternatives, permission for the measure would be sought from a board appointed by the Social and Health Care Licensing and Supervision Agency Valvira.
In a more limited way in Option A, convalescent care would be the primary form of treatment and suicide assistance would be an extreme means in line with the spirit of the citizens’ initiative. Treatment to alleviate the suffering could not be ignored.
Physician-assisted suicide would be possible for dying patients with a life expectancy of less than three months.
The patient and the attending physician should have a common view of the condition and treatment options for the illness or injury.
Authorization would require strict prior supervision and consultation with medical specialty and palliative care. The permit would be subject to a two-week reflection period.
Permissive injury in legislative option B, physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia could also be a primary means of alleviating his suffering at the patient’s request.
It would be based on the patient’s broad autonomy in the latter part of life in relation to the suffering caused by a fatal illness.
Option B assisted suicide or euthanasia would be possible for end-of-life patients with a life expectancy of less than six months.
The patient should be offered palliative care and convalescent care, but would not be obliged to receive treatment to get help for suicide or euthanasia.
Ex-ante controls would be more lenient than option A. Assisted suicide or euthanasia would be a decision of two physicians and a specialist physician would be consulted only when necessary.
The reflection period for the permit would be shorter than option A, only three days.
Third As an alternative, the expert working group considers that the current legislation will not be changed and that medical-assisted suicide and euthanasia will not be allowed in Finland.
This is considered a justified option, inter alia, if palliative care and convalescent care are considered to be of high quality. Or, for example, if it is not possible to reconcile the intentional termination of a patient’s life with the ethical principles of health care professionals.
According to the report, assisted suicide or euthanasia should also not be allowed if it could have a negative impact on patient safety or attitudes.
Nearly In a 130-page report, the team has explored and addressed end-of-life care, assisted suicide, and euthanasia from a number of perspectives.
The report states that many issues require further clarification and mapping.
According to the report, there is no benchmark for regulating assisted suicide and euthanasia in a country with a similar health care system to Finland. In other Nordic countries, doctor-assisted they are not allowed.
Palliative the working group was unanimous on improving care and convalescent care. The report states that there are large regional differences in access to palliative care and convalescent care. There is also a significant shortage of skills.
“Improving the quality, availability and competence of palliative care and convalescent care is also seen as important because medical-assisted suicide or euthanasia would not become an alternative to convalescent deficiencies,” the report states.