Dr. Chabot has published the results of his ten years of his research in a professional journal Social science and Medicin and for a lay public in The Way Out (the 8th edition, over 15.000 copies sold in the Netherlands).
Dr. Chabot collected the experience of relatives, friends or nurses who had been present at self-chosen deaths by a lethal combination of drugs. On the basis of these data and their own professional literature a toxicologist and a pharmacist came to a conclusion as to the expected lethality of which dosage and which required combination.Only cocktails with a chance of success of over 90% are discussed.
These drugs can be obtained through internet pharmacies in Mexico, China and other countries. International laws forbid the sale of opiates and barbiturates to private persons. Therefore internet pharmacies take precautions not to be caught which makes it difficult for lay people to find the address of an internet pharmacy that will supply.
In the Netherlands there is a small right-to-die group of consultants who carefully check these pharmacies. Only those internet addresses that do in fact deliver the ordered drug are communicated by them to clients in a private interview. Right-to-die groups in other countries may provide the same service to their members within the law of their country.
A test case in the Dutch courts.
It is still unclear in the Netherlands whether help in acquiring the necessary medication is a crime punishable in the terms of the law. In 2013 Albert Heringa had to defend himself before the Court for the lethal dose of chloroquine and Valium he gave to his 99-year-old mother. She had urgently asked him for it, not because she was seriously ill but because of her infirmity through geriatric ailments. The judge’s verdict will go on to the Dutch Supreme Court. In the absence of legal regulations by politicians the Supreme Court has the authority to draw the line between help that is liable to punishment and help that is not.
The Chabot case of 1994. The Supreme Court pronounced earlier on this boundary in the case of Dr. Chabot, after he had supplied barbiturates to a 50-year-old woman who suffered extreme existential distress. The verdict contributed to the introduction of the law of 2002 that makes physician-assisted dying (PAD) by medical doctors possible.
Many doctors reject requests for PAD. The many appeals by chronically ill patients and old people for a humane physician-assisted death cannot be honored by doctors. Patients will have to learn to take the responsibility for their own death when they are still physically capable of doing so.
The research, books and films by Dr. Chabot All aim to supply lay people with the necessary information . Physician’s help in dying and self-directed dying are both indispensable for making a good death an option for the growing number of people who have their private reasons to die at home in the presence of their loved ones.