A Dutch woman doctor who asked an elderly patient’s family to hold her down while she administered a fatal drug dose has been cleared under Holland’s euthanasia laws.
Mailonline reported that the patient fought desperately in an attempt not to be killed.
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.”
As a result, the case will be considered by Dutch courts to clarify the law over whether doctors who carry out euthanasia on patients with dementia should face prosecution if they acted in good faith.
Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlandsfor 17 years and more than 5,500 patients have undergone the procedure.
In this case, the woman, who was suffering from dementia, had earlier expressed a desire to have her life ended when she felt the “time was right”.
According to case notes, the woman, who lived in a nursing home, showed signs of fear and anger. She would also wander around the premises at night.
The end came when a doctor put a soporific into her coffee before administering a lethal injection.
But as the doctor tried to administer the injection, she began to struggle and the doctor had to seek the family’s help to complete the procedure.
Details of the case emerged as the Dutch consider changes in the law which would give anyone over 75 the right to assisted suicide.