How in God’s name can people with dementia and “severe” psychiatric problems make a competent decision about ending their own lives?
In the Netherlands, they apparently can.
Last year, just ten years after laws were passed legalizing physician-assisted suicide,”mercy killings” have risen to 4,188 — forty two of whom suffered from dementia, another 13 had severe psychiatric problems.
In one case, approved by the review committee, euthanasia was carried out on
an unnamed woman aged between 80 and 90 who was in an advanced stage of
The elderly woman was suffering from back pain after a fall and was plagued
by delusions caused by her dementia.
Medication for pain helped, but made her confused and, clinching the case,
she had an advance directive requesting euthanasia in the event of her
unbearable suffering. During a lucid moment, she was able to tell her doctor,
Hope everyone was sure that was a “lucid moment.”