Doctors euthanising a patient with severe dementia will now officially be allowed to slip a sedative into their food or drink
if there are concerns they will become “disturbed, agitated or aggressive”, under a change to the codes of practice in the Netherlands. The new code also says that in cases where a patient has advanced dementia, “it is not necessary for the doctor to agree with the patient the time or manner in which euthanasia will be given”.
Tasked with euthanising a dementia patient in a nursing home via lethal injection, Arends drugged the patient’s coffee, a violation of euthanasia rules. But in the midst of the termination, the patient woke up and began to struggle. The doctor instructed the family to hold the resisting patient down while she injected the poison.
A Dutch medical board issued a reprimand to Arends, but a court later cleared her of a murder charge.
Jacob Kohnstamm, the chair 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.”