Dutch court allows doctor to forcibly euthanize dementia patient

Patient autonomy erodes away when doctors, insurers, and a profit-driven healthcare system make qualitative judgements on whether a person’s life is worth living.  Sadly, murder has become legitimized as medicine.

“A Dutch doctor was acquitted Wednesday in a landmark trial that prosecutors and physicians hope will help clarify how the country’s 2002 euthanasia law can be applied to people with severe dementia.

The doctor, who was not named in court, was cleared of any wrongdoing in carrying out three years ago on a 74-year-old woman. The patient was given fatal doses of drugs despite some indications she might have changed her mind since declaring in writing that she wanted euthanasia.

The court ruled that in rare cases of euthanasia that were being performed on patients with severe dementia—and who had earlier made a written request for euthanasia—the doctor ‘did not have to verify the current desire to die.’

The doctor was accused of not acting with due care because, prosecutors alleged, she made insufficient efforts to find out whether the patient still wanted to die. To carry out the euthanasia, the physician drugged the patient’s coffee without her knowledge and then had family members restrain the woman while delivering the fatal injection.

…Dutch investigators began scrutinizing the case last September, marking the first time a doctor was criminally investigated for euthanasia.

The 74-year-old woman had renewed her living will about a year before she died, writing that she wanted to be euthanized ‘whenever I think the time is right.’ Later, the patient said several times in response to being asked if she wanted to die: ‘But not just now, it’s not so bad yet!’ according to a report from the Dutch regional euthanasia review committee…

Suzanne van de Vathorst, an associate professor who specializes in ethics and end-of- at Erasmus University, said euthanizing patients with severe dementia puts a considerable burden on doctors.  ‘There’s a living, breathing person in front of you who is not aware that you’re performing euthanasia,’ she said. ‘This is a very difficult thing to do and we cannot oblige doctors to do this…'”

Read more at Medical Express….

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