Programme Director Paul Mevis (Ph.D.) chairs the Department of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Erasmus School of Law (ESL)
Paul Mevis is full professor of criminal law and criminal procedure law. He has published widely on diverse issues such as sanctions, sanction systems and penitentiary law, ICT in the context of criminal procedure, forensic mental health, euthanasia, and human rights. Paul Mevis combines his research and teaching at the Erasmus University Rotterdam with work in the field. From 1990 on, he has been an honorary judge in several Dutch courts of first instance and in the appeal court in Amsterdam. He is a member of the Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles as well as the Advisory Committee for the Revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He is one of the Dutch Members of the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation (IPPF). Previously, he has been involved in the Dutch Advisory Committee on End-of-life decision making for people who are weary of life, which published its report at the beginning of 2016. He gave the 2015 Ver Heyden de Lancey Medical Law Lecture (University of Cambridge).
Programme Director Professor Agnes van der Heide (M.D., Ph.D.) is professor of medical care and decision making at the end of life at the department of Public Health of Erasmus MC
Agnes van der Heide is professor of medical care and decision making at the end of life. She obtained her MD degree in 1990 at the Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen, and her PhD in 1994 at the University Medical Centre Utrecht examining different treatment strategies for early rheumatoid arthritis. She has published extensively on end-of-life decisions, the practice of continuous deep sedation, euthanasia, and palliative care, and the experiences of physicians as well as views of the public on decision making at the end of life. She has been the PI of many multidisciplinary empirical research project on a local, regional, national and international level. She is a member of several national and international research collaboratives and advisory committees in the field of palliative end-of-life care and decision making. She has been involved in the Dutch Advisory Committee on End-of-life decision making for people who are weary of life, which published its report at the beginning of 2016.
Judith Rietjens (Ph.D.)
Judith Rietjens works as an assistant professor at the Department of Public Health of Erasmus MC, the Netherlands. She is health scientist by training. She completed her PhD on end-of-life decision-making in 2006. In the period Sept 2013-Dec 2013 she was a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), as a result of the "For Women in Science" fellowship she was awarded with in 2012 by L’Oréal-Unesco, NIAS and LNVH. In 2010 she was a visiting researcher at the dept. of Geriatrics of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven (US) and in 2005 at the Buehler Center on Aging of the Northwestern University in Chicago (US).
She is involved in several local, national and international projects. She is co-lead of a EU FP7 funded international study ACTION, about advance care planning in Europe and coordinates a study about the cost-effectiveness of advance care planning in Dutch care homes. She was honoured with a VENI (Innovational Research Incentives for academic excellence) grant and a EUR fellowship. In this context, she coordinates an international study (the UNBIASED study) that evaluates the practice of palliative sedation in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK from an empirical and ethical perspective.
Michelle Habets (Ph.D.)
Until Octobre 2017, Michelle Habets worked as a postdoctoral research associate on multiple projects of the Research Excellence Initiative. She was involved in the project “Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying” at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. In 2016 she finished her PhD in medical ethics at the University Medical Center in Utrecht on the ethics of translational pluripotent stem cell research.
Anouk Overbeek (Ph.D.)
Since January 2018, Anouk Overbeek works as a postdoctoral research associate on the project "Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying" at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2013, she graduated cum laude in healthcare psychology at the Radboud University Nijmegen. That same year, Anouk started a PhD project at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. She mainly investigated the effects of Advance Care Planning (ACP) in frail older people. ACP is a formalized communication process that enables individuals to define goals and preferences for future medical treatment and care, to discuss these goals and preferences with family and healtcare providers, and to record and review these preferences if appropriate.
Liselotte Postma (M.A., LL.M.)
Liselotte has been a member of the Erasmus School of Law since 2012. She holds a Master in Criminal Law (cum laude) and a minor in Law and Public Health from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In addition, she obtained a Master in Modern History and International Relations (cum laude) from the University of Groningen. Her master’s thesis examined the legal professional privileges of doctors.
Liselotte’s Ph.D. dissertation examines the legal status and practice of written advance directives requesting euthanasia in the Netherlands. With the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, which came into force in 2002, euthanasia is justified if performed by a physician complying with specified due care requirements; although it remains a criminal act. These requirements are largely based on jurisprudence. However, new in the Act is article 2.2, which allows physicians to carry out euthanasia on patients lacking mental capacity based on i) a written advance directive requesting euthanasia, and ii) fulfilment of the due care requirements “to the extent allowed for by the actual situation”. In practice, this usually concerns patients with (an advanced stage of) dementia. The legal position of a written advance directive in such a situation is complex and in need of assessment.
Veerle van de Wetering (LL.M.)
In October 2015, Veerle van de Wetering graduated cum laude in criminal law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her MA thesis examined the legal and ethical difficulties of ending the life of severely disabled newborns. That same year, she started a PhD project at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. In this project she focuses on the practice of decisions at the end-of-life in light of juridical standards, among them the criminal code and the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act. Veerle investigates, in particular, the possible existence of a grey area between palliative sedation and euthanasia, as well as the possibilities of euthanasia for terminally ill children between 1-12 years, since no legal regulation exists for them yet.
Laura is studying at the Erasmus School of Law since 2014. Since September 2018, she is one of the twenty master students of the Double Degree Programme "Toga aan de Maas" at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Laura is involved in the project "Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying" as a student-assistant.