Euthanasia Case Studies Netherlands

"Without a more restrictive system, like what you have in Oregon, you will naturally see an increase."In 1997, Oregon was the first U. Euthanasia debates often centre on older, terminally ill patients who wish to end their lives rather than suffering needlessly in their final days."She does not need to be punished," Fikenscher said.

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Euthanasia involves doctors actively killing patients with an injection of drugs but, in assisted dying, patients are provided with a lethal solution that they must drink themselves. Steven Pleiter, a board member at the Levenseinde Kliniek end-of-life hospital, said the case should not give the impression that the Netherlands takes such life-and-death issues lightly.

"This is the first case that [has happened] in about 50,000 cases of euthanasia, and so there is a very careful practice in the Netherlands," Pleiter said.

A landmark euthanasia trial has opened in the Netherlands seeking to pinpoint what to do with dementia patients who stated their wish to die under certain circumstances but later might have had second thoughts.

The case in The Hague district court centres on a 74-year-old woman who was given fatal doses of drugs three years ago despite some indications she might have changed her mind.

Pothoven instead starved herself to death (what in bioethics is sometimes called voluntary stopping of eating and drinking, or VSED) in her family home.

It was unclear whether doctors were involved in the process.

"We think the doctor has not acted carefully enough and thus passed a threshold.

But at the same time, we also say that this threshold is not very clear," said public prosecution spokeswoman Marilyn Fikenscher, underscoring the arguments that the doctor acted with good intentions.

In 2012, upon learning of the onset of her Alzheimer's, she filed a euthanasia declaration that said she "certainly did not want to be placed in an institution for demented elderly".

"I want a humane farewell for my loved ones," the patient wrote.

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