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Dutch doctors can now secretly add sedatives in food before euthanising patients

A recent decision from a Dutch medical committee has changed its code of practice to allow doctors to slip sedatives into the food or drink of patients with dementia before they are euthanised to prevent them from becoming “disturbed, agitated or aggressive.”


The change in rules by the Netherlands review committee for euthanasia comes after the country’s Supreme Court ruled in April that a doctor who carried out assisted suicide on a seventy-four-year-old patient with Alzheimer’s did not commit murder by placing a sedative into the patient’s coffee.

The patient woke up and had to be held down by her daughter and husband, the BBC reported. The patient previously had written a statement saying she “wanted to be euthanised before entering a care home, but adding that she wanted to decide “while still conscious and when I think the time is right.”

Jacob Kohnstamm, the chairman of the euthanasia review committee, said doctors “now have less to worry about putting their necks in a noose with euthanasia. They need less fear of justice. Or for the review committee.”

But many doctors and ethicists disagree with the concept. More than two hundred Dutch doctors previously signed an ad saying they opposed the idea of “secretly” sedating patients in order to euthanise them, The Guardian reported.


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