World: Doctor acquitted in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case - - PressFrom - US
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WorldDoctor acquitted in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case

17:10  11 september  2019
17:10  11 september  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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A doctor from a Dutch nursing home is on trial in a landmark case after performing euthanasia on a woman with dementia who prosecutors say may © Shutterstock The trial is the first of its kind in The Netherlands , where euthanasia has been legal since 2002. A doctor from a Dutch nursing home is

In the Netherlands , euthanasia is strictly defined as "the active termination of life at a patient's voluntary and well-informed request," according to The case hinges on the debate over how doctors should deal with euthanasia in the case of a patient who is incapacitated but can still communicate a

Doctor acquitted in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case© Shutterstock

A nursing home doctor has been acquitted of the murder of an elderly woman with severe dementia following a closely watched euthanasia trial in the Netherlands.

The court in The Hague concluded on Wednesday that the unidentified doctor, who has since retired, carried out euthanasia in accordance with the law and had not been negligent.

"The Court concludes that the doctor ended the patient's life by administering euthanasia at the explicit and serious request of the patient," a statement from the court said.

Prosecutors had argued that the doctor did not do enough to confirm consent in ending the life of the 74-year-old woman in 2016.

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Euthanasia in the Netherlands is regulated by the "Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act" which was passed in 2001 and took effect in 2002. It states that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are not punishable if the attending physician acts in

It is the first such case since the Netherlands legalised euthanasia in 2002. The 74-year-old patient was suffering from Alzheimer's disease when she died Prosecutors say they are not seeking a prison sentence for the retired female doctor , but want to clarify how the euthanasia law applies to patients

The woman had written a directive asking for euthanasia in the event she was admitted to a nursing home with dementia and she thought the time was right. But, once she was admitted to the home, she gave "mixed signals," according to an August 26 statement from the Public Prosecution Service.

The court said the doctor had not been negligent and she had spoken to the patient's physician, husband and daughter as well as consulting with the treatment team in the nursing home, the patient's psychologist and a consultant from an end-of-life clinic.

Prosecutors had not sought a punishment for the doctor, saying it did not question her good intentions but said that the case raised important legal questions.

In the Netherlands, euthanasia is strictly defined as "the active termination of life at a patient's voluntary and well-informed request," according to the Royal Dutch Medical Association. It was legalized in 2002, making the country the first in the world to authorize the practice, and this case was the first of its kind to be tried in court in the Netherlands.

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A doctor has gone on trial in the Netherlands in a landmark case expected to probe the law on whether patients with advanced dementia can give consent to assisted dying. Prosecutors argue the unnamed female doctor “acted with the best intentions” but broke Dutch euthanasia law by failing to

A landmark euthanasia trial has opened in the Netherlands seeking to pinpoint what to do with dementia patients who stated their wish to die The unidentified doctor in the case , a 68-year-old woman who has since retired, is accused of making insufficient efforts to find out whether the patient

This case has been seen as a test of its legal boundaries, with the public prosecutor seeking to clarify how this law applies to people suffering from dementia, especially if they are still able to communicate.

"As long as the woman was able to communicate, the nursing home doctor should have kept talking to her about her desire to live or to die," the statement from the prosecutor's office said.

However, the court said it was of the opinion that the patient was completely incapacitated and the doctor did not have to further verify her wish to die.

"A conversation with the patient would not only have been useless, because she was no longer able to have a coherent conversation, it could have caused even greater agitation and unrest," the judge said, according to the press release.

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