There are various ways to intentionally expedite the end of life. Euthanasia is the most explicit and is performed only when the patient has clearly expressed the wish to die. The Netherlands has statutory rules and procedures for the termination of life on request.

Under Dutch law, any action intended to terminate life is in principle a criminal offence. The only exemption from criminal liability is where a patient is experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement and the attending physician fulfils the statutory due care criteria.