EAPC ethics task force on palliative care and euthanasia

Background: In recognition of the ongoing discussion on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the Board of Directors of the European Association for Palliative Care commissioned this white paper from the palliative care perspective.
Aim: This white paper aims to provide an ethical framework for palliative care professionals on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. It also aims to provide an overview on the available evidence as well as a discourse of ethical principles related to these issues.Design: Starting from a 2003 European Association for Palliative Care position paper, 21 statements were drafted and submitted to a five-round Delphi process
Participants: A panel with 17 experts commented on the paper in round 1. Board members of national palliative care or hospice associations that are collective members of European Association for Palliative Care were invited to an online survey in rounds 2 and 3. The expert panel and the European Association for Palliative Care board members participated in rounds 4 and 5. This final version was adopted as an official position paper of the European Association for Palliative Care in April 2015.
Results: Main topics of the white paper are concepts and definitions of palliative care, its values and philosophy, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, key issues on the patient and the organizational level. The consensus process confirmed the 2003 European Association for Palliative Care white paper and its position on the relationship between palliative care and euthanasia and physician- assisted suicide.
Conclusion: The European Association for Palliative Care feels that it is important to contribute to informed public debates on these issues. Complete consensus seems to be unachievable due to incompatible normative frameworks that clash.



Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 180 -183

Alastair V Campbell and Richard Huxtable

The position statement and its commentators: consensus, compromise or confusion?

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 92 /93, 92-93

Karen Forbes and Geoffrey Hanks

The euthanasia debate and a new position paper from a Task Force of the EAPC: a helpful reappraisal or a retreat into obfuscation?

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 94 -96

Richard Huxtable and Alastair V Campbell

Palliative care and the euthanasia debate: recent developments

JournalL Européen de Soins Palliatifs, 2003; 10(2) 63-66

Le groupe de réflexion éthique de l’EAPC sur soins palliatifs et l’euthanasie

FRENCH: Euthanasie et suicide médicalement assisté: point de vue du groupe de réflexion éthique de l’EAPC

Palliative Medicine 2003 17(2):97-101

Materstvedt LJ, Clark D, Ellershaw J, Førde R, Boeck Gravgaard AM, Muller-Busch HC, Porta i Sales J

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: a view from an EAPC Ethics Task Force

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 393

David Mazza

Letter to the Editor

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 387-392

Lars Johan Materstvedt

Palliative care on the `slippery slope’ towards euthanasia?

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 385-386

Geoffrey Hanks

Letter from the editor

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 650-51

Lars Johan Materstvedt

Euthanasia: on slippery slopes and vulnerable patients

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 393-394

Luc Deliens and Jan Bernheim

Palliative care and euthanasia in countries with a law on euthanasia

RiCP volume 6, n. 1/2004, 41-42

Stein Kaasa and Lars Johan Materstvedt

La versione italiana del documento dell’EAPC

Kharon Thanatológiai Szemle, 2003/3

Materstvedt LJ, Clark D, Ellershaw J, Førde R, Gravgaard A-M, Müller-Busch HC, Porta i Sales J, Rapi

HUNGARIAN: Eutanázia és asszisztált öngyilkosság az EAPC Etikai munkacsoport szemszögébõl

Suomen Lääkärilehti; 40, vsk 60: 4027

Mariléne Filbet and Lars Johan Materstvedt

Eutanasia ja lääkäriavusteinen itsemurha. EAPC:n kannanotto on suomennettu

Eur J Pall Care, 1994; 1(1), 1-4

David J Roy, Charles-Henri Rapin

Regarding euthanasia

Eur J Pall Care, 1994; 1(1) 1-4

David J Roy, Charles-Henri Rapin

A propos de l’euthanasie

Z Palliativmed 2004; 5: 87

Stein Kaasa

Euthanasie und ärztlich unterstütster Suizid

Palliative Medicine 2003; 17: 651-52

Paulina Taboada

Concepts and definitions: a source of confusion in the euthanasia debate

Palliative Medicine 1– 13

Lukas Radbruch, Carlo Leget, Patrick Bahr et al

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: A white paper from the European Association for Palliative Care

EAPC blog, November 19, 2015

Lukas Radbruch, Carlo Leget, Patrick Bahr and Paul Vanden Berghe

How do we feel about physician-assisted suicide?

Palliative Mediicine 2003; 17: 394

Stanley Macaden

Letter to the Editor



Professor Lukas Radbruch
Palliative Care Physician
University Hospital, Bonn, Germany


Carlo Leget, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Patrick Bahr, Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Christof Müller-Busch, Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Havelhöhe, Berlin & Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany

John Ellershaw, Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool (MCPCIL), University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Franco de Conno, European Association for Palliative Care, Milan, Italy

Paul Vanden Berghe, Federation Palliative Care Flanders, Vilvoorde, Belgium