Dutch doctors oppose euthanasia for dementia.

Alex Schadenberg Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The NL Times reported today that 220 doctors in the Netherlands sponsored an ad to oppose euthanasia for people with advanced dementia.

The article by Janene Pieters published in the NL Times today, states that:

A group of 220 Dutch doctors took out an advertisement in NRC on Friday to show that they are against granting euthanasia to advanced dementia patients. The doctors believe it's wrong to give euthanasia based on a statement which the patient can no longer confirm.

"Our moral reluctance to end the life of a defenseless human being is too big", the ad reads. Among the signers are also doctors specialized in helping patients die.

The article states that there have been three cases of people with advanced dementia who died by euthanasia since December 2015. The article explains:

The rules for euthanasia for elderly people with dementia were adjusted in December 2015. The Ministries of Public Health and Security and Justice changed the euthanasia guidelines to state that euthanasia can be granted to advanced dementia patients if they made a written declaration with this wish while they were still lucid. Before this adaption, a patient had to express the desire for death himself. But this is no longer required.

Recently a Netherlands euthanasia review committee decided that a woman with dementia who had previously stated in an advanced directive that she wanted euthanasia, that the doctor should not have put a sedative in her coffee and should not have had her family hold her down while lethally injecting her. But the committee also stated that the forced euthanasia was done in "good faith."

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