Europe, Euthanasia

Europe, Euthanasia

Dutch doctor acquitted in landmark euthanasia case

A Dutch doctor was acquitted today of all charges for the euthanasia of an elderly patient who suffered from dementia.

11.9.2019

A Dutch court has acquitted a doctor over euthanising a woman with severe dementia in a landmark case for the Netherlands, the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia

A Dutch doctor was acquitted today of all charges for the euthanasia of an elderly patient who suffered from dementia.

But applause broke out in the courtroom after judges ruled that the doctor was right to abide by the woman's wish, expressed four years earlier, to be euthanised instead of being placed in a care home.

The judge added that "the court realises that euthanasia is a deeply sensitive issue".

The 68-year-old doctor was not in court today "but I'm sure she will be delighted with the verdict," her lawyer Robert-Jan van Eenennaam told reporters.

"We will now carefully study the verdict and decide at a later stage whether we will lodge an appeal," the spokeswoman added.

The elderly woman was diagnosed four years before her death with Alzheimer's, a disease that gradually robs people of their mental faculties.

Shortly after the patient was eventually taken into care, the doctor judged that she qualified for euthanasia, as requested in her statement. Two independent doctors confirmed the diagnosis.

Read more: RTÉ News

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