News |

”Right to die” gains ground in Finland

Voluntary euthanasia is slowly attracting acceptance in Finland. A prominent hospice director has come out in favour of euthanasia, saying it could be a last resort when all other treatments have been exhausted for terminally ill patients.

Henkilö sairaalan käytävällä
Image: Yle

One of the pioneers of Finnish hospice care, Juha Hänninen, previously opposed euthanasia but now says seeing the suffering of near-death patients firsthand changed his mind.

“It has to be the patient’s own request, when she says the pain is too much to bear,” explains Hänninen, chief physician of Terhokoti Hospice.

Physician-assisted suicide would be limited to cognizant patients. Hänninen, who also sits on a government medical ethics committee, says he believes Finnish doctors are becoming more accepting of euthanasia, but there is not much interest in the subject.

”Doctors don’t have training on how to end life,” he says.

According to Hänninen, the first step would be to establish a body to regulate euthanasia and evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg.

Hänninen made the comments at medical community event in Oulu on Wednesday.

Discuss this topic 0 comments

Write a comment

Use a nickname. We don't publish comments using real names.

Stick to the topic. Only comments relevant to the subject will be published.

Reply this question. We want to make sure this comment is not generated automatically.

Your comment will be read by an editor before publication. We want to offer the opportunity for a well-reasoned, quality discussion including a variety of views. For more specific rules of the game, click here.

Latest in: News



Russian Duma condemns Finland's OSCE visa decision: "Equal political dialogue is impossible"

The Russian Duma issued a statement Friday condemning Finland's decision to deny an entry visa to lower house Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and five other Russian citizens to participate in a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki scheduled for July 5th through 9th. Naryshkin was refused an entry visa on the grounds that he is subject to an EU travel ban under the current sanctions regime.

Our picks