The NVVE is enormously relieved, in the first place for the physician, that the judge in the criminal euthanasia case against medical specialist Catharina A. ruled that she carried out euthanasia, and that all due care criteria as stated in the law were met. The physician is acquitted of all charges.

NVVE relieved after ruling in criminal euthanasia case

Given the extremely careful handling of the case by Catharina A, this ruling is only  just. The NVVE is pleased that the court acknowledges with this judgment that the physician was not required to ask the deeply demented patient, who could not speak coherently anymore, to confirm her written advance directive.  

Catharina A. granted euthanasia in 2016 to a deeply demented woman who was in possession of a written advance directive. She had drawn up this advance directive on the basis of a well-considered and deep wish, and she confirmed her wishes on several occasions when she was still competent. The purpose of the advance directive was to replace an oral euthanasia request if she were no longer able to make such a request. The euthanasia law offers this possibility (art. 2.2. WTL).

The patient no longer knew what euthanasia was and no longer had insight into her illness. Because of this, she could not make meaningful statements about life and death. To the relief of the NVVE, the judge acknowledges with this judgment the value of a written advance directive and with that the right to self-determination.

The NVVE will guarantee the legal support of the doctor  - if the Public Prosecution Office appeals - from a fund specifically for this type of important legal cases. The Public Prosecution Office has two weeks to decide if she will appeal.

Over de NVVE

De NVVE is er voor iedereen die waardig wil sterven. Wij willen een optimale uitvoering van de euthanasiewet, vooral voor groepen die in de praktijk geen hulp krijgen, zoals mensen met dementie, chronisch psychiatrische patiënten en ouderen die vinden dat hun leven voltooid is.

Het Adviescentrum van de NVVE staat altijd voor zijn leden klaar. Wij zijn op werkdagen tijdens kantooruren bereikbaar voor al uw vragen over het (naderend) levenseinde.

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