Doctor acquitted in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case

  
Via:  gordy327  •  3 months ago  •  9 comments

Doctor acquitted in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


A nursing home doctor has been acquitted of the murder of an elderly woman with severe dementia following a closely watched euthanasia trial in the Netherlands. 

The court in The Hague concluded on Wednesday that the unidentified doctor, who has since retired, carried out euthanasia in accordance with the law and had not been negligent.
"The Court concludes that the doctor ended the patient's life by administering euthanasia at the explicit and serious request of the patient," a statement from the court said. 

Prosecutors had argued that the doctor did not do enough to confirm consent in ending the life of the 74-year-old woman in 2016.  The woman had written a directive asking for euthanasia in the event she was admitted to a nursing home with dementia and she thought the time was right. But, once she was admitted to the home, she gave "mixed signals," according to an August 26 statement from the Public Prosecution Service. 
The court said the doctor had not been negligent and she had spoken to the patient's physician, husband and daughter as well as consulting with the treatment team in the nursing home, the patient's psychologist and a consultant from an end-of-life clinic. 

Prosecutors had not sought a punishment for the doctor, saying it did not question her good intentions but said that the case raised important legal questions. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is strictly defined as "the active termination of life at a patient's voluntary and well-informed request," according to the Royal Dutch Medical Association. It was legalized in 2002, making the country the first in the world to authorize the practice, and this case was the first of its kind to be tried in court in the Netherlands.

This case has been seen as a test of its legal boundaries, with the public prosecutor seeking to clarify how this law applies to people suffering from dementia, especially if they are still able to communicate.
"As long as the woman was able to communicate, the nursing home doctor should have kept talking to her about her desire to live or to die," the statement from the prosecutor's office said.
However, the court said it was of the opinion that the patient was completely incapacitated and the doctor did not have to further verify her wish to die. "A conversation with the patient would not only have been useless, because she was no longer able to have a coherent conversation, it could have caused even greater agitation and unrest," the judge said, according to the press release. 


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Gordy327
1  seeder  Gordy327    3 months ago

We put family pets down when they're sick, injured, or dying, and call it humane. Why is it so different or a big deal with people?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1    3 months ago

Because pets are animals and people are not.   Anyone who feels like those are the same thing, is very confused.

That said, i'm all for assisted suicide.   The permissions can get a little hinky ..... don't want sicko's getting their rocks off killing people without the proper permissions but barring that.   The ultimate liberty of an individual imo is the choice of life or death.   That should be no ones decision in the end other than the persons who's life it is.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1    3 months ago
Because pets are animals and people are not. 

So? What difference does that make? Why do we treat pets better than people?

  Anyone who feels like those are the same thing, is very confused.

Some people view their pets as family and treat them as such. Are they confused?

That said, i'm all for assisted suicide. 

As am I.

 The ultimate liberty of an individual imo is the choice of life or death.   That should be no ones decision in the end other than the persons who's life it is.

Agreed. That is why it's important for people to have Advanced Directives/Living Will. One problem is that when people don't have such legal decisions in writing, it usually falls on the next of kin to make medical decisions for the individual. And let's face it, many people are anything but rational when a loved one is in such a condition. Another problem is when even if someone has such directives, if they cannot speak for themselves at the time, the family might try to override their wishes, like reversing a DNR order.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.1    3 months ago
So? What difference does that make? Why do we treat pets better than people?

Let me answer that with a hypothetical question.   You have a choice, save a loved one (human) first from a fire or a pet (animal.)   You only have time to save one.   Which do you chose?   I suppose asking you not to over think it might be too much to ask but try.   Split second decision .... make a choice.

Some people view their pets as family and treat them as such. Are they confused?

Wrong question.   People who treat their pets (animals) better than their family (humans) are most definitely confused.      Most people do love their pets like family but trying to equate the two as philosophical equals when it comes to life is a non sequitur IMO.    Unless of course you answered pet to the above.   To which we will never find agreement here.

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.2  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @1    3 months ago
Why is it so different

The animal lacks the capacity to understand its health situation, the options available to it, and the consequences of any related choice. It is incapable of granting informed consent. The human can. Here, the human has expressed her will and we have no reason not to respect it.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @1.2    3 months ago

We still put sick animals down because we consider it humane, even though the animal cannot consent. Yet, we have hang-ups about doing it with people, even if someone already agrees to it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.2.2  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @1.2.1    3 months ago
we have hang-ups about doing it with people, even if someone already agrees to it

I think that's because we understand that people aren't always sincere about the things they say or they sometimes change their minds. That is, people will say they would do X in a given situation, but when confronted with that situation for real, they make a different choice.

When the consequences of that choice are life and death, I think it's understandable that we are extra cautious. There is no undoing that decision.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.2.3  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @1.2.2    3 months ago
I think that's because we understand that people aren't always sincere about the things they say or they sometimes change their minds. 

If someone puts their wishes in writing, like a Living Will or Advanced Directive, then there's no reason to assume they would change their mind. They already made up their mind. But even people who explicitly state they so not want to be kept alive or want assisted suicide are mostly denied that. But animals are not. It's like a double standard: Put the animal down because it's humane and ends their pain. But keep a person alive at all costs regardless if they're suffering or will not recover.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2  seeder  Gordy327    3 months ago
Let me answer that with a hypothetical question.   You have a choice, save a loved one (human) first from a fire or a pet (animal.)   You only have time to save one.   Which do you chose? 

Your hypothetical is not what the issue here is. It's about euthanasia, not a Sophie's choice.

People who treat their pets (animals) better than their family (humans) are most definitely confused.     

They don't necessarily treat their pets better. maybe the same. Or have a similar level of love for them.

Most people do love their pets like family but trying to equate the two as philosophical equals when it comes to life is a non sequitur IMO.  

They are essentially equal: You have a pet or family member dying or suffering, no chance of recovery. We euthanize pets because we don't want them to suffer. So why don't we do the to people or family members?

 
 
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