May 19, 2024
Targeting People With Mental Illness and Dementia for Euthanasia
Several countries may be ahead of us in this area, but the U.S. is fast catching up.
Several countries may be ahead of us in this area, but the U.S. is fast catching up.

A few years ago, a Dutch doctor attended her elderly Alzheimer’s disease patient at a nursing home. The doctor’s purpose wasn’t to examine the patient or prescribe new medicines. Rather, she was there to kill.

While competent, the patient asked to be euthanized when incapacitated, but she also instructed that she be allowed to say when. But before she did that, the doctor and her family decided that her time had come. The doctor drugged the woman’s coffee and, once she was asleep, began the lethal injection procedure. But the patient awakened unexpectedly and fought against being killed. Rather than stopping, the doctor instructed the family to hold the struggling woman down while she completed the homicide.

This would seem to be a clear-cut case of murder. But a judge recently exonerated and praised the doctor for acting in the “best interests” of the patient by merely executing the woman’s previously stated wishes. In other words, the judge essentially ruled that the struggling patient was no longer competent to want to stay alive.

The only unusual aspect of the “Case of the Struggling Alzheimer’s Patient” was the struggle. Even when incompetent and unable to make their own decisions, the law of Netherlands and Belgium allows dementia patients to be killed by doctors if they so order in written advance directives.

[Interesting Read]

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