A Dutch doctor drugged an elderly woman and then asked her family to hold her down as she fought desperately not to be killed, but did not break the law.
Regional Review Committee Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said: ‘I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future.’
The Netherlands introduced the euthanasia law 17 years ago, and since then more than 5,500 people have ended their lives.
The unnamed woman, who was over 80, reportedly suffered from dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed that ‘the time was right’. As her situation deteriorated, it became difficult for her husband to care for her, and she was placed in a nursing home.
Medical paperwork showed that she often exhibited signs of fear and anger, and would wander around the building at nights. The nursing home senior doctor was of the opinion that she was suffering intolerably, but that she was no longer in a position where she could confirm that the time was now right for the euthanasia to go ahead. However the doctor was of the opinion that the woman’s circumstances made it clear that the time was now right.