Reykjavik, Iceland, University of Iceland, 15 September 2017

Should end of life care for incurable ill patients include the possibility of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide? Assisted death or euthanasia are not allowed in any of the Nordic countries, however, surveys show that an increased proportion of the public supports this.

The conference will address how the Nordic countries can learn from the experience on assisted death in Europe and North America. The conference aims to reach medical professionals, policy makers and academics, and will be organised in cooperation with the Centre for Ethics at the University of Iceland. The conference will take place at the University of Iceland, Veröld, hús Vigdísar Brynjólfsgata 1, 107 Reykjavík, main auditorium.

Please note that the seminar is free of charge, but participants pay their own travel and accommodation costs.


08.15-09.00     Registration and coffee

09.00-09.15     Opening, welcome

The experience from Canada, Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon.

09:15-09.45    Theo Boer, Professor of Ethics, The Protestant Theological University Groningen, Thirty Years of Euthanasia 

09.45-10.15    Wayne Sumner, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto,Physician-Assisted Dying: Some Lessons from Canada

10:15-10.45     Anthony Back, Professor of Oncology, University of Washington, Oregon, Clinical Experience with Death with Dignity in Washington and Oregon

10.45-11.15   Coffee and tea

11.15-11:45     Joris Vandenberghe, Professor of Psychiatry, Leuven University, Belgium, Euthanasia in psychiatry: lessons from Belgium

11.45-12.30     Panel discussion

12.30-13.30     Lunch

Debating Euthanasia in the Nordic countries

13.30-14.00     Mette Hartlev, Professor in Health law, Copenhagen University, In whose best interest? Blurred principles in Danish law on end of life decisions.

14.00-14.30     Rurik Löfmark, Associate Professor of medical ethics, Lund University and Karolinska Institute, Are Swedish physicians prepared to assist severely ill patients to suicide? Will this jeopardize trust in medical services?

14.30-15.00     Salvör Nordal, Director, Centre for Ethics, University of Iceland, Preparing for the euthanasia debate in Iceland

15.00-15.30    Morten Horn, Consultant in neurology, Oslo University Hospital and researcher at the Center for Medical Ethics, University of Oslo, Clear, fair and safe: Is it possible to legalize assisted death?

15.30-16.00   Coffee and tea

16.00-16.30     Auli Vahakangas, Professor in Pastoral theology, University of Helsinki, Arguments for and against Euthanasia in Finland  

16.30-17.00     Ingemar Engström, MD, Professor, Örebro University, Facts and values in the Swedish debate on euthanasia

17.00-17.30     Erna Haraldsdóttir, Director of Education and Research and Senior Lecturer, St Columba's Hospice & Queen Margaret University, The euthanasia debate and implications for palliative care practice

17.30-18.15     Panel discussion