How Many Botched Cases Would It Take to End Euthanasia of the Vulnerable?

January 26, 2018

(Washington Post) – The euthanasia of mentally ill or cognitively impaired patients is inherently controversial. Given the risk of fatal error, how many botched cases would it take to discredit the practice completely? If you said “any number greater than zero,” you would be interested in the physician-assisted death of a 74-year-old woman with dementia in the Netherlands in 2016. The circumstances were so disturbing, even the Dutch regulatory body that retrospectively reviews, and usually rubber-stamps, euthanasias could not countenance it.

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