Euthanasia Is Allowed For Patients With Advanced Dementia In The Netherlands
The Dutch Supreme Court issued a decision giving doctors the right to perform euthanasia for a patient with progressive dementia.
According to Dutch law, euthanasia is possible if the patient is suffering unbearably and if they have made a statement indicating the conditions under which the procedure should be performed. Usually, a doctor needs to consult with one independent specialist before executing the patient's will, but in the case of dementia, the Supreme court considers it necessary to obtain the opinion of two experts.
According to the Associated Press Agency, the verdict legalizes practices that have previously been used. So, last year, the court acquitted a doctor who in 2016 performed a procedure of euthanasia for a 74-year-old woman. The prosecution argued that the deceased could have changed her mind from the moment she put her will on paper.
The Supreme Court emphasizes that the doctor's acquittal, according to the law.
The Associated Press notes that euthanasia in severe forms of dementia is a rare phenomenon in the Netherlands. Since the legalization of voluntary retirement in 2002, there have been fewer than 20 such cases.