The Netherlands approves euthanasia for severe dementia

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Netherlands government has decided to extend euthanasia to people with dementia who are incompetent to request death by lethal injection, if the person requested euthanasia while still competent. 

The 2014 Netherlands euthanasia statistics state that out of 5306 euthanasia deaths; 81 people were lethally injected for dementia and 41 people died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

To lethally inject a person who is unable to request death undermines the "safeguard" of consent. Even if the person, while competent, requested euthanasia for dementia, now the person is unable to change their mind.

Since the person is incompetent to request death by lethal injection, the new "guide" undermines the safeguard requiring a clear request. Who will decide when the lethal injection should be done? Will it be determined that some lives are not worth living? 

The new guide appears to be designed to protect doctors who were already killing people with dementia.

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