the humble libertarian

out of many one

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Euthanasia First in the Netherlands

Doctors back euthanasia in severe dementia case:

'A 64-year-old woman suffering from severe senile dementia has become the first person in the Netherlands to be given euthanasia even though she could no longer express her wish to die, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice.

The woman was a long-time supporter of euthanasia but became unable to make this clear as the disease progressed. Nevertheless, a medical committee approved her right to die, the paper says.

The case has serious implications for Dutch euthanasia law because it means patients who are no longer able to state their wish can still be helped to die, Constance de Vries, who acts as a second opinion doctor for euthanasia cases, told the paper.

The woman, who died in March, left a written statement when she was fully in possession of her faculties saying she wished to die. Her husband and children fully supported the decision.'

Hat tip: Reddit

When I first began to read, I thought that the woman was simply euthanized without her consent. That would be incredibly scary and in my opinion, very wrong. That last paragraph makes all the difference to me. What do you think about euthanasia?

-Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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