Dutch court approves euthanasia in cases of advanced dementia
Doctors in the Netherlands are able to carry out euthanasia on patients with severe dementia without fear of prosecution even if the patient no longer expresses an explicit wish to die, the country’s highest court has ruled.
The supreme court’s decision followed a landmark case last year in which a doctor was acquitted of wrongdoing for euthanising a woman in 2016 with severe Alzheimer’s who had requested the procedure before her condition deteriorated.
The case caused controversy in the Netherlands because the unnamed woman had to be restrained by her family as she was euthanised, having been given a sedative in her coffee beforehand.
Prosecutors accused the doctor of going through with the euthanasia without properly consulting her client, saying the 74-year-old woman might have changed her mind about dying.
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