Doctor who drugged and held down euthanasia victim cleared by panel

7 February 2017

The elderly lady fought against being injected with lethal drugs.

A Dutch doctor who was rebuked for killing an elderly dementia patient without consent and in a traumatic manner has been cleared by a review panel.

The story has been greeted with horror around the world, as it emerged that the doctor drugged the 80 year old victim's coffee, and had her family hold her down as she tried to fight off the lethal injection. Despite the woman not being mentally competent to consent to being killed, a review panel cleared the doctor of all charges.

Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Regional Review Committee, which considered the case, 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 case will be further considered by Dutch courts to determine whether doctors performing euthanasia on patients with dementia should be prosecuted if it is determined they have acted in good faith.

The case came to light as the Netherlands, where there are already more than 5,000 euthanasia deaths a year, considers extending the practice to anyone over 75 who is “tired of life”.

John Smeaton commented: "Now that Holland appears to have got right to the bottom of the euthanasia slippery slope, it's essential that countries which care about their citizens take note and determine never to legalise assisted dying/euthanasia legislation."