Euthanasia and palliative care

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg adopted legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2009. At the same time, legislation was introduced on palliative care and end-of-life accompaniment.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide

The Law of 16 March 2009 on euthanasia and assisted suicide, defines euthanasia as a medical procedure by which a doctor intentionally ends the life of another person at the express and voluntary request of the latter.

The assisted suicide consists in helping another person to commit suicide, including by providing the necessary means for this purpose.

It is about giving, or helping to give death to a person with an incurable disease, to shorten his suffering and agony period.

The law describes the conditions for a legal request for euthanasia or assisted suicide in Luxembourg, the steps to be taken by the doctor who receives a request for euthanasia as well as his obligations.

For more details of the practicalities and prior conditions with regard to a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide, or to download the forms online, visit the page 'Find out about making a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide' on the Citizens' portal (in French).

Palliative care and end-of-life accompaniment

The law of 16 March 2009 on palliative care, advance instructions and end-of-life accompaniment applies to anyone in a hopeless medical situation as a result of an accident or serious illness.

The aim of palliative care, in addition relieving physical pain and other symptoms, is to take account of the patient's psychological, social and spiritual suffering. Every effort is made to preserve the best possible quality of life, right up to the moment of death.

The Health portal provides detailed information on palliative care and end-of-life accompaniment.

Leave to accompany a dying person

Leave to accompany a dying person is a special type of paid leave which enables a worker (employed or self-employed) with a relative in the terminal stage of a serious illness to take leave of absence to be able to stay at their bedside. This leave is organised much in the same way as leave taken for family reasons.

Consult the procedure in the section entitled 'Applying for leave to accompany a dying person' on the Citizens' portal.

The Luxembourg Chamber of Employees provides detailed information (Q&A) on leave to accompany a dying person.

  • Updated 28-04-2015