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Dutch geriatrician faces charges over euthanasia case

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4639 (Published 06 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4639
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

A specialist in elderly care medicine could face prosecution under the Netherlands’ euthanasia laws after ending the life a 74 year old nursing home patient with advanced dementia.

The woman was considered no longer competent to consent but had previously signed a living will requesting euthanasia. Yet Dutch public prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation, claiming a “serious suspicion” that a criminal offence had been committed.

This is the Netherlands’ first such investigation under the reporting arrangements established in the 2002 euthanasia law.

The move came after a report by the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees, charged with overseeing euthanasia practice and to whom doctors have a legal obligation …

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