10. Killed Without Request

Those who are killed without any request by doctors who have grown used to the practice of ending their patients’ lives are clearly wrongful deaths. In some cases a doctor has performed euthanasia even where a person resisted.

The Netherlands

In 2015 there were 431 cases of euthanasia without explicit request, representing 6.06% (or more than one out of sixteen) of all euthanasia deaths.

More than 1 in 200 (0.52%) of all deaths (other than sudden and expected deaths) of 17-65 year olds in the Netherlands are caused intentionally by euthanasia without an explicit request from the person being killed.

In Case 2016-85 the Netherlands Euthanasia Review Committees found that a doctor had not acted with due diligence in administering euthanasia to a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. The woman had made a general, vague reference in a living will to wanting euthanasia at the “right time”. At the time the doctor euthanased her she was incompetent to voluntarily request it. 

The doctor put medication in her coffee to reduce her consciousness deliberately so as to avoid her resisting being given the lethal drugs. Nonetheless she physically struggled against the administration of an intravenous lethal injection. She was physically restrained by family members while the doctor completed the administration of the lethal drugs.

 


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