Dutch doctor acquitted amid euthanasia case

September 13, 2019  14:08

A court in The Hague withdrew charges from a doctor who did not specify with the patient whether she agreed to euthanasia before injecting her with a deadly drug, The Guardian reported

“We conclude that all requirements of the euthanasia legislation had been met. Therefore the suspect is acquitted of all charges,” the judge, Mariette Renckens, told the court in The Hague. “We believe that given the deeply demented condition of the patient the doctor did not need to verify her wish for euthanasia.”

After the court decision was announced, applause sounded in the hall.

A judge ruled that a declaration written by the patient four years earlier had sufficed.

When the patient's condition worsened and she could no longer take care of herself, the 68-year-old doctor decided that it was time to have her euthanized. Two independent doctors confirmed the validity of this decision, and the doctors set a date for the procedure.

On the appointed day, the doctor had a coffee with the patient, her husband and adult daughter. A sedative was added to the patient’s drink, but the woman did not fall asleep. A second dose of the substance was administered to her by injection. The patient was under the influence of the drug, but felt a syringe injection. When she fell asleep, the doctor gave her a lethal dose of another drug, but the woman woke up and stood up. The family held her so the doctor could inject the last injection.

Euthanasia was allowed in the Netherlands in 2002, provided that the patient experiences unbearable and endless suffering and himself asks for voluntary departure from life with all seriousness and with all conviction.

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