By Wesley J. Smith
I could have told you this would happen. A Dutch doctor who lethally injected a dementia patient, has been cleared of criminal charges.
Euthanizing dementia patients isn’t against the law in Netherlands if the patient expressed a desire to die before losing competency. What made this particular case notable was that the patient who was killed wanted to decide the time, and never gave consent.
Moreover, she was not only drugged to allow her to be killed easily, but when she woke up she fought against the doctor and struggled to stay alive. Rather than stop, the doctor had her family hold her down as so she could be dispatched by lethal injection.
As I wrote here when this case first came to public awareness, the euthanasia authorities cleared the doctor of wrongdoing because she meant well, don’t you know. But there was a bit of an international uproar over the case, and so the doctor was prosecuted.
Now, a court has also cleared the doctor. From the BBC story:
The 74-year-old patient, who died in 2016, had expressed a wish to be euthanised but also indicated that she wanted to determine the right time. Judges said the doctor acted lawfully as not carrying out the process would have undermined the patient’s wish.
In other words, the patient was deemed no longer competent to want to stay alive.
Don’t get me wrong. There was never any chance the doctor would lose her license or do any jail time for the homicide, and indeed, the Dutch prosecutor said as much publicly. You see, the point in cases such as this in the Netherlands is not to punish wrongdoing, but rather, to set precedents for death doctors to follow going forward. Indeed, this is why supposedly restrictive guidelines don’t restrict much of anything. It’s all a big fat fraud.
Once a society accepts the culturally cancerous premise that suffering justifies killing, the issue of actual consent becomes increasingly less important. Indeed, once one is consigned to the killable caste, there are almost no protections at all — as the court’s approval of the homicide by doctor of an incompetent woman struggling against being put down clearly demonstrates.
Those with eyes to see, let them see.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.