Human Rights

Dutch panel clears doctor who euthanized patient as she fought for her life

Assisted suicide injection needle

While several countries in Europe allow assisted suicide, the Netherlands has arguably the most permissive laws in the world, allowing any to kill themselves at any time, for any reason. But judging by a horrifying case that just made headlines, the Netherlands has now resorted to euthanizing people against their will.

A woman living in a nursing home had previously said that she wished to undergo assisted suicide when “the time is right.” While the patient has not been identified, it is believed that she was over 80, and that her dementia was getting worse. One of the senior doctors at her nursing home decided to have her be euthanized, believing that she was “suffering intolerably,” even though the woman was no longer capable of giving her approval.

A doctor was called in to perform the euthanasia, and didn’t disclose what was about to happen to her — to avoid “unnecessary distress.” Yet, coincidentally, in the days leading up to her death, the woman had repeatedly said that she didn’t want to die. When the doctors made the decision to euthanize, it was done physically against her will. She reportedly struggled and fought so much that the doctor instructed her family to hold her down while he killed her, which they did.

But this story only gets worse. A panel assembled to oversee this woman’s case cleared the doctor of any wrongdoing, and said the doctor acted “in good faith.” Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Regional Review Committee, did want the case to go to court — but only so there would be “more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future.” So is it the case, then, that people with dementia who cannot consent to being euthanized in the Netherlands can continue to be killed against their will, with no punishment for the doctors who do so?

Molecular biologist Gerard M. Nadal, Ph.D., noted on his personal Facebook page that while no one wants to suffer, the desire to eliminate suffering can lead to “horrors”:

When people say that they wouldn’t want to live with dementia, or end-stage cancer, or anything else in that category of suffering, I always ask the question never asked:

“Who would?”

Nobody in their right mind wants that. Nobody. But here we see what happens when that very human sentiment runs up against the right of a physician to murder the patient as she struggles against the lethal injection. In the end, none of us fears being dead so much as we fear the process of dying. Jesus was so frightened when confronted with the impending death He was about to undergo that He sweat blood. That only happens in extreme fright.

The Dutch have embraced an evil that we now have in five states. We will see all of the Dutch horrors, including the murder of the mentally ill without their knowledge or consent, and families restraining grandparents in order to clear out the unsightly underbrush in a nation obsessed with youth, beauty, and radicalized autonomy.

This is just the latest example of euthanasia having gone off the rails in the Netherlands, which allows euthanasia for mental illness, disabilities like autism, and addiction disorders. The Regional Euthanasia Review Committees are tasked with overseeing every euthanasia request, but as with the case of this woman, the committees almost never find fault. There is already suspicion that people in the Netherlands are being euthanized without their consent. One man, featured in a documentary, said he only was agreeing to euthanasia because he felt he was a financial burden on his family. He was still killed.

The inevitable result of legalizing assisted suicide is always that the most vulnerable people in society become victims: the poor, the elderly, and the disabled. This is just the latest example.

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