Following the report of a second working group in 1984 the KNMG recommended that the distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide be abolished on the ground that the intent in both cases is to bring about the patient's death.
For several years the KNMG has been examining pain and suffering as necessary conditions for legitimate requests for euthanasia and assisted suicide and has accepted the notion that mental suffering may be unbearable even when the patient has no physical disorder but rather suffers solely from psychosocial causes.
Moreover, the almost symbiotic relationship between the KNMG and the courts is rather unusual and makes one wonder what effect it has on public participation in the discussion.
, together with other professional organizations, has been working for several years now to develop strict guidelines for doctors to signal and prevent all forms of child abuse.
In view of the KNMG's involvement with the court in developing the necessity defense in relation to euthanasia, it comes as no surprise that there is a close correspondence between the criteria for lawful euthanasia as developed by the courts and the guidelines for euthanasia issued by the KNMG.
He could have pointed out that falsely entering death by natural causes was condemned in the 1984 KNMG report as an improper practice that should be discontinued,(6) that it was confirmed by the court of appeal in 1987 to be a criminal offense.
Moreover, he concedes that most fall within the "broadest limits" stipulated by the KNMG (p.
Doctors who deny some of their patients available life-saving help violate thereby Rules 1, 6, and 7 of the Code of Medical Conduct adopted by the KNMG, the Medical Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association, the Declaration of Tokyo of 1975, the European Treaty in Defense of Man and the Basic Freedoms, Dutch civil law, and Article 450 of the Dutch Criminal Code.
In an official statement, the Board of the KNMG declared itself alarmed, not by the killings, but by the conviction of the doctor, which could cause feelings of insecurity among physicians who help their patients to die and discourage these doctors from doing so openly and from stating active euthanasia as the cause of death.
The Board of the KNMG has ordered a special committee to work out guidelines for involuntary euthanasia of such newborns.
At the same meeting, the Rotterdam chapter of the KNMG announced that it will appoint consultants to advise doctors prepared to honor a request for euthanasia, helping them to follow the guidelines and through the ensuing legal process.
3)The Central Committee of the Royal Dutch Medical Association, Vision on Euthanasia (Utrecht: KNMG, 1986); Netherlands State Commission on Euthanasia, "An English Summary," Biothics 1 (1987), 163-74; Committee of the Health Council of The Netherlands, "Conditions of Euthanasia" (in Dutch) (The Hague: Gezondheidsraad, 1987); H.