Dutch euthanasia doctor on trial for restraining, then killing resistant woman
August 28, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — A Dutch doctor has appeared in court after she euthanised a 74 year old woman with severe dementia, which SPUC has described as an "act of utter depravity."
Prosecutors have described how the doctor did not gain full consent from the woman before she was killed in 2016. Allegedly, the doctor secretly slipped a sedative into the woman's coffee. It has been reported that family members were ordered to hold down their struggling relative whilst she was administered with a lethal injection.
Prosecutors have argued that the patient physically resisted the attempt to kill her, and they have also highlighted that not enough was done to verify her consent to be euthanised.
What Are The Details?
Four years before the woman's death, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. In a statement, the patient wrote how she wished to be euthanised before entering a care home. However, the patient also added that, "I want to be able to decide [when to die] while still in my senses and when I think the time is right."
Before entering into care, the suicide doctor determined that the patient should be killed. The doctor then slipped a sedative into the woman's drink which caused her to lose consciousness. However, the woman awoke shortly after, to find her daughter and husband holding her down. She is reported to have struggled against them, as the doctor then proceeded to kill her by lethal injection.
The daughter of the deceased woman thanked the suicide doctor for her actions.
Will There Be Consequences?
Despite the unsettling details of the case, prosecutors are not seeking a prison sentence for the doctor. At the centre of the case is the question of consent in relation to the Netherlands' euthanasia laws.
A spokesperson for the prosecution service has said that "we do not doubt the doctor's honest intentions."
However, Director of SPUC's Patients First Network, Antonia Tully described the doctor's actions as an "act of utter depravity which exploits the vulnerability of patients."
Ms Tully said: "The scenes seeping out of the Netherlands highlight the true and vicious nature of medically assisted death. Patients are entitled to care, respect and basic human dignity. Nations which exercise the deadly practice of euthanasia, inevitably introduce the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable of patients. The suicide doctor in question secretly sedated a patient, whilst her family restrained her as she struggled. Actions such as these are that of utter depravity which must be condemned."
Dutch Death Laws Back In The Spotlight
This is not the first time that the Netherlands has faced the spotlight regarding its lax suicide laws.
In July, SPUC reported that doctors in the Netherlands were facing immense pressure to euthanise patients, which included pressure from emotional blackmail, coercion from the relatives of patients and organisational pressure.
Since the Netherlands legalised euthanasia in 2002, an average of 5000 Dutch citizens are being killed by medically assisted deaths every year.
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.