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Euthanasie Stop > 250% Increase' in Euthanasia Cases in 10 Years

250% Increase' in Euthanasia Cases in 10 Years

Ingediend op 14/11/2018 om 11.50 uur  Categorie Mening van filosofen

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The Dutch authorities have started their first-ever judicial proceedings for a breach of euthanasia laws. According to a statement by a public prosecutor in The Hague, a doctor gave a severe dementia sufferer a 'secret' dose of a sedative right before obtaining approval for the procedure. The medical complaints board has already found her guilty.

Sputnik discussed the issue with Professor Theo Boer, who teaches ethics at Groningen's Protestant Theological University and is a leading expert on the ethics of assisted dying.

Sputnik: This is a very difficult topic to talk about. I have had several discussions with various experts, and there were people who are pro and definitely against assisted dying: euthanasia. We will delve into this, but first let's talk about this particular case and what you personally think about this.

Theo Boer: This is a groundbreaking case, because for the first time in 16 years the Dutch government will now prosecute a physician that has performed euthanasia. The matter is so important because here a lady was euthanized who no longer was competent, she was in a deep stage of dementia.

Before the euthanasia the doctor had put something in her coffee to sedate her; but then, when the doctor wanted to kill her, she resisted and she had to be constrained by the family members and the doctor in order to be killed. So, the question here is: how far do we go in euthanizing patients. I have to add one thing; she did request euthanasia in an advanced directive.

Sputnik: How do we explain in this particular case the doctor breaching the ethics or the laws of assisted dying? Where was the breach in this particular case?

Theo Boer: The question really is whether it was a breach, because the law says that a doctor may be allowed to act on the basis of an advanced directive of a patient; so, that is what she did. The tender committee said that the fact that they sedated her, made her sleepy before the euthanasia, took away from her the possibility to resist the euthanasia. They really should have stopped euthanizing her as soon as they found out that she was resisting.

Sputnik: If I am correct, it said that the lady had signed off on a paper where it said she wanted euthanasia if she was competent in her mind at the time, which, of course, she was not.

Theo Boer: There are really two questions here. One is what kind of advanced directive we may use; and the other one is when somebody is in a state of incompetence, are we at all allowed to euthanize this person? There is a very salient feature here, and that is that the controlling committee of the Dutch government just one week ago approved another case which is very similar. That makes us confused.

(...further reading : HERE )

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