The Netherlands: a woman who "underwent euthanasia against her will"



In the Netherlands, a doctor will be tried for practising "euthanasia against the patient's will". Although this case is  "shocking", the Regional Examining Board has deemed that "the doctor acted in good faith". He asked the Court not to condemn him but to clarify the facts and "confirm that a doctor acting in good faith cannot be sued if he "practised euthanasia" on a person suffering from dementia". The Board has not ruled out the possibility that it may have to deal with similar cases in the future.

 

The patient was over 80 years of age and was suffering from dementia. Placed in a care home by her husband, she showed signs of "fear and anger". The doctor believed that "she was suffering intolerably" but "was no longer capable of expressing her request for euthanasia". He recognised the fact that she had nevertheless repeated on several occasions in the days before she was "put to sleep": "I do not want to die". Unbeknown to her, the doctor put a sedative in her coffee and then started the lethal injections. The patient reacted and "fought desperately not to be killed"; the doctor then "asked the patient's family to hold her for him to complete the procedure".

 

 This case has shown that the law on euthanasia is in the process of being extended once again in this country to "authorise euthanasia for everyone over 75 years of age".


Sources: 

The Daily mail, Giulia Crouch (28/01/2017)