In a horrific story out of the Netherlands, a doctor killed an 80-year-old woman with dementia who fought back and said for days that she didn’t want to die because she allegedly had previously expressed that she wanted to be euthanized when the “time was right.”
The U.K. Daily Mail reported:
A Dutch woman doctor who drugged an elderly woman and then asked her family to hold her down as she fought desperately not to be killed did not break the law, according to medical experts citing the country’s euthanasia legislation.
The shocking case was referred to the so-called Regional Review Committee in the Netherlands which admitted that while the case involved some irregularities that merited a reprimand, the female doctor had effectively acted in good faith.
However they also added that the case should come to court so that judges can confirm that any other doctor who acts in good faith when providing euthanasia to people with dementia cannot be prosecuted.
The Netherlands introduced the euthanasia law 17 years ago, and since then more than 5,500 people have ended their life, arguing that they are suffering unbearably. One of those who died was a sex abuse victim who suffered severe anorexia, chronic depression and hallucinations, and another was a severe alcoholic.
Every time a doctor performs euthanasia, they have to prepare a report for the coroner who sends the relevant documents to the Regional Review Committee.
“I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future,” Regional Review Committee Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm stated.
The elderly woman’s dementia worsened and she was then placed in a nursing home when it became difficult for her husband to care for her.
According to medical paperwork, the woman’s condition deteriorated to a point where a senior doctor decided that her situation was intolerable but that because of her condition, she was unable to decide for herself if the “time was right” to end her life.
The woman was given a soporific in her coffee to calm her before the doctor proceeded to give her a lethal injection but as the doctor did so, the woman woke up and fought back. In response, the doctor recruited family members to hold the woman down.
For days prior to the injection, according to the Daily Mail, the woman said “I don’t want to die.” Even though she protested, the doctor reportedly didn’t talk to her about her concerns because she didn’t want to cause the patient unnecessary added distress — although it seems like discussing whether or not you’re going to end someone’s life is something that is very much necessary.
In addition to not discussing the patient’s concerns, the doctor also apparently didn’t tell her what she was putting into her coffee as she did not want to cause a hiccup in the process of killing the woman.
The Review Committee concluded that the doctor ‘has crossed the line’ by giving her the first sleeping medicine, and also should have stopped when the woman resisted.
The paperwork and the recommendations of the committee are now being considered by prosecutors and health officials.
Kohnstamm discussed his support for the trial: “Not to punish the doctor, who acted in good faith and did what she had to do, but to get judicial clarity over what powers a doctor has when it comes to the euthanasia of patients suffering from severe dementia.”
This disturbing situation could certainly happen more often as “the Netherlands is considering a proposed extension to the law which would give all over-75s the right to assisted suicide,” according to the Daily Mail.
This is the slippery slope that goes into overdrive when societies don’t value life at all stages. People are painfully naive if they think this is going to stop here and that it won’t get to a point where the government forces the elderly and others to euthanize for what they deem the “good of society.”
Remember when Sarah Palin talked about the “death panels” and people pointed their fingers and acted as if she was crazy? Not crazy at all.
What’s crazy is a civilized society not recognizing that we need to stop the avalanche while we still can.
MP Renske Leijten of the SP said: ‘Elderly care is not in order, a lot of OAPs are lonely and then they are making the ending of life easier?’
Gert-Jan Segers, a MP of the Christian Union, also attacked the plan.
He said: ‘The proposal relies on the myth that this is an individual choice, but relatives, society and care workers are also involved.’
His party said the law would contradict with the duty of government to care for and protect the elderly, especially those in a vulnerable position.