An 80 year-old woman in the Netherlands was euthanized last week after her family obtained a court order obliging the care facility for the elderly where she was living to let her leave in order to fulfill her “death wish.” The woman was incapable of expressing her will. She was legally killed one day after having left the Clinic “Ter Reede” in Flushing. The management, medical staff, and the woman’s general practitioner were all opposed to the euthanasia. . . [Full text]
Janene Van Jaarsveldt
The Levenseindekliniek helped 232 people with their request to die in 2014, 98 more than in 2013. The clinic also had 1,035 requests for euthanasia last year, substantially more than the previous year, the Levenseindekliniek announced.
The Levenseindekliniek received two reprimands last year. The Regional Euthanasia Review Committee (RTE) reprimanded the clinic last month for the euthanasia of a woman with severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears), without performing a psychiatric examination. In August the clinic was also reprimanded for assisting in the suicide of an elderly woman without sufficient motivation. . . [Full Text]
A special clinic in The Hague, set up to help people whose doctors do not support euthanasia, has been reprimanded for helping a 47-year-old woman with chronic tinnitus to die, broadcaster Nos says on Monday.
The independent commission charged with monitoring how Dutch euthanasia rules are applied recognises that extreme tinnitus could be a reason for mercy killing but said Gaby Olthuis should have undergone further psychiatric research. . . [Full Text]
A prominent professor of ethics who was once part of the Netherlands’ euthanasia bureaucracy has again voiced his qualms over the present interpretation and use of the Dutch euthanasia law in a lengthy interview published last week by the Protestant daily, Trouw.
Prof. Theo Boer is worried that current trends in the Netherlands are trivializing euthanasia to an extent that many who fought for legalization of “mercy killing” in the 1990s now privately express their opinion that it has gone too far. And it will be hard to turn back the clock, he acknowledges.
Theo Boer does not oppose euthanasia: on the contrary, he served as an ethicist for nine years on one of the five regional control commissions that monitor all cases of declared euthanasia in the Netherlands. He stepped down last September. [Full text]
Refusing to dispense drugs to kill patients with psychiatric illness
Levenseinde Kliniek complains about uncooperative Dutch pharmacists
According to the news reports, over half the physicians at “the independent euthanasia clinic” had been refused lethal drugs, and 23 percent of 53 pharmacists surveyed reported that they sometimes refused to fill euthanasia prescriptions. It was argued that pharmacists should not be able to refuse drugs needed to kill patients if two physicians had approved the euthanasia request. However, while the law in the Netherlands permits physicians to provide euthanasia, it does not mention pharmacists. [Full Text]
A special clinic set up to help people whose doctors do not support euthanasia has been reprimanded for failings when it helped an elderly woman who did not want to live in a nursing home to die. The euthanasia monitoring committee said the clinic’s experts had failed to exercise proper care when carrying out their duties. [Full text]