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First physician prosecuted for euthanasia in the Netherlands

A doctor of a Dutch nursing home is being prosecuted for the euthanasia in a 74-year-old woman in 2016. The woman was demented, and as a result it was not clear whether she really wanted to die. According to the Public prosecution service (OM) is the first prosecution in the Netherlands since euthanasia in 2002, it was allowed.

The Regional evaluation committee Euthanasia had last year concluded that the female doctor is not careful. The woman had a so-called wilsverklaring drawn up before them in a nursing home was included, but that was unclear and contradictory. The public prosecutor did further research and agrees with the commission.

According TO the woman had regularly said that they wanted to die, but she also had several times the opposite is said. The doctor had her therefore need to ask whether she really wanted to die, even though she was demented.

‘Incredibly stressful’

According to physicians ‘ organisation KNMG was the same doctor in July already reprimanded by the disciplinary committee for the euthanasia. TO do with investigation to two other cases of euthanasia. There is ‘within weeks’ clear whether there is an indictment comes.

KNMG calls the prosecution for this doctor’s ‘incredibly stressful’. President René Héman says: “I have respect for the openness that this doctor has taken and the manner in which they can be tested has been prepared. (…) Euthanasia in advanced dementia is in the society, but also among doctors, very controversial and the subject of extensive debate.’

Euthanasia in the Netherlands under strict conditions. At least two doctors must certify that the patient has no other solution is possible, that the suffering is unbearable and that there is no hope for improvement.

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