Three years ago, a 74-year-old Dutch woman with dementia was euthanized by a doctor who drugged the patient’s coffee without her knowledge and then had family members physically restrain her for the final lethal injection.
The doctor, who has not been publicly named, was cleared of all wrongdoing by a court in the Netherlands on Wednesday, “clarifying” the country’s euthanasia law enacted in 2002 in relation to patients with “severe dementia,” according to MedicalXPress.
Patients with dementia can now be killed by their doctors even if they strongly object to euthanasia at the time, so long as they have previously given consent for the fatal procedure. In other words, if a patient were to change their mind about the assisted suicide, a doctor could still legally kill them against their will. “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,'” MedicalXPress reported.
And in the case of this specific Dutch woman with dementia, she never once gave an express request to be euthanized. In her will, which was renewed about a year before her death, the woman said she would like to be euthanized “whenever I think the time is right.” And when she was asked if she wanted to be euthanized, she reiterated multiple times that her suffering was not bad enough to where she wanted to be killed:
“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.”
She was killed, anyway.
Part of the rationale for clearing the doctor of drugging the patient’s coffee without her knowledge and killing her while she was being physically restrained against her will was in part, according to the court verdict, because “the patient no longer recognized her own reflection in the mirror,” the MedicalXPress report said.
As noted by The Daily Wire last August, “A panel had previously cleared the doctor of ethical violations by saying she ‘acted in good faith,'” but that decision was overturned by the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees. On Wednesday, the doctor was again cleared of wrongdoing.
The Netherlands has become a hotbed for euthanasia particularly among the most vulnerable. In 2017, 83 people with mental illness were killed in the country, as noted by National Review.
“The Dutch plunge into the euthanasia moral abyss continues to accelerate, with the number of patients killed by doctors exceeding 6,000 in 2017. That’s more than 500 a month, 100 a week, and 15 a day,” the outlet reported in March 2018. “Demonstrating the consequences of accepting the premise that eliminating suffering justifies eliminating the sufferer, Dutch psychiatrists killed 83 of their mentally ill patients in 2017 — up from twelve in 2012 and 43 in 2014.”