Dutch Euthanasia Authorities OK Apparent Murder

Wesley J. Smith notes:

Euthanasia advocates tout medicalized killing as being about autonomy.

But it eventually becomes about making sure certain categories of people become dead. Thus, in the Netherlands, some patients have been euthanized who have never asked for it, a killing procedure known as “termination without request or consent.”

Here are the lessons we should learn from this awful episode: Permitting killing as an answer to human suffering changes a culture radically over time. It diminishes the perceived inherent value of human life. Eventually, horrific acts become justified as “compassion.”

The Daily Mail reports:

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.

Regional Review Committee Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said: ‘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.’

Such cases might occur in the future.

In the latest controversial incident the unnamed woman, who was over 80, reportedly suffered from dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed that ‘the time was right’.

As her situation deteriorated, it became difficult for her husband to care for her, and she was placed in a nursing home.

Medical paperwork showed that she often exhibited signs of fear and anger, and would wander around the building at nights. The nursing home senior doctor was of the opinion that she was suffering intolerably, but that she was no longer in a position where she could confirm that the time was now right for the euthanasia to go ahead.

However the doctor was of the opinion that the woman’s circumstances made it clear that the time was now right.

The doctor secretly placed a soporific in her coffee to calm her, and then had started to give her a lethal injection.

Yet while injecting the woman she woke up, and fought the doctor. The paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her.

It also revealed that the patient said several times ‘I don’t want to die’ in the days before she was put to death, and that the doctor had not spoken to her about what was planned because she did not want to cause unnecessary extra distress. She also did not tell her about what was in her coffee as it was also likely to cause further disruptions to the planned euthanasia process.

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2 Replies to “Dutch Euthanasia Authorities OK Apparent Murder”

  1. From the Independent:

    The Dutch Parliament is considering revising the euthanasia laws to allow anyone older than 75 who is “tired of life” to have the right to assisted suicide, widening the current restriction which limits the practice to the terminally ill. (Doctor who asked dementia patient’s family to hold her down while she gave lethal injection cleared)

    I wonder what the betting pools are for that age dropping to 70. Ok, I did the deed and checked out the Breitbart article and I couldn’t help groaning/​laughing at the top comment:

    ts: Amazing as consent to sex can be withdrawn at any moment but consent to death is binding?

    Jayman, do you know of any good academic scholarship on the psychological, sociological, and/or economic effects of euthanasia being rolled out? First, I’d like to know how to fight it; second, I’m very interested in what is allowed to be studied, how, who’s funding it, and what the responses have been. It seems that what’s going on is some pretty terrible understanding of how psychology and society work, on the part of the pro-euthanasia folks who say that it won’t cross such and such a line.

    Hmmm, I wonder if the strategies the LGBT folks have used to fight discrimination could be of use. They know that the simplest of language really can affect people, especially when it’s coming from all sides, as it were. When the LGBT folks had little social power, my guess is that they had to be much more cunning as to how reality actually works. Perhaps their research can be used against euthanasia? It would be quite the subversion to do this.

  2. Luke Breuer:

    Jayman, do you know of any good academic scholarship on the psychological, sociological, and/or economic effects of euthanasia being rolled out?

    I’m no expert on the matter. Wesley J. Smith writes about such matters frequently. Two of his books, Forced Exit and Culture of Death, may be of interest to you.

    My two cents on its effects: Psychologically and sociologically we will talk more and more about quality of life and not being a burden on others. Death will be viewed as a treatment. The door will be opened for so-called loved ones to euthanize the elderly for reasons having nothing to do with the elder’s wishes (e.g., get that inheritance money now). The kinds of people who will be eligible for euthanasia will gradually grow wider. Economically, it is clearly cheaper to kill than to treat.

    It seems that what’s going on is some pretty terrible understanding of how psychology and society work, on the part of the pro-euthanasia folks who say that it won’t cross such and such a line.

    Don’t assume pro-euthanasia folks lack this understanding. Many know the line will move but they want to convince the public at large to get the ball rolling.

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