Dutch doctor given suspended sentence over euthanasia case

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 04 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1183
  1. TONY SHELDON, freelance medical journalist
  1. Utrecht

    A Dutch hospital neurologist has been given a three month suspended prison sentence after he left instructions to give an increasingly large dose of morphine to a terminally ill 63 year old man in a coma. He then left for the weekend. Nursing staff were left in “great uncertainty,” and the patient died the next day. The Hague district court rejected a defence under the euthanasia laws and found the doctor, referred to as RG, guilty of the “premeditated ending” of his patient's life. The sentence is one of the most severe imposed on a doctor in a case of euthanasia and is being viewed as a signal to the profession. The inspectorate of public …

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