Clinic reprimanded for tinnitus euthanasia

The review committee has assessed the euthanasia of a woman, who suffered from a severe form of tinnitus (ear ringing), as careless, De Monitor reports. The responsible physician works for the Levenseindekliniek (end of life clinic). This is the third "careless" assessment for the clinic in a year.

The woman in question is the 47 year old Gaby Olthuis. Last year De Monitor wrote a story about Gaby's illness and her wish for euthanasia.

In the opinion of the review committee "the patient did not seem to be out of treatment options". The physician of the Levenseindekliniek did too little research into alternative treatments to alleviate Olthuis' suffering and "hence the hopelessness of suffering was not sufficiently established".

The Levenseindekliniek is "surprised" by the ruling and does not understand how the review committee came to this conclusion. According to the clinic, a sufficient amount of research was done.

According to the committee, a more extensive psychiatric examination also should have been done. Director Steven Oralist of the Levenseindeklinik disagrees. The clinic indicates that the patient was seen by a psychiatrist, which determined that the patients claim was "a physical request for help" and found no further examination necessary.

This is the third "careless" ruling for the Levenseindekliniek in a year. In April 2014 the committee found that the mental competence of a depressed elderly woman should have been evaluated by a psychiatrist. In August 2014 the doctor had to better substantiate the unbearable suffering of a patient.

The case will be assessed by the Public Prosecution and the Healthcare Inspectorate. Since the introduction of the Euthanasia law in 2002, such a case has never resulted in the prosecution of a doctor.