Opinion Writer Troubled By Euthanasia Cases Involving Dutch Psychiatric Patients

In an op-ed in the Washington Post (2/24, Lane), opinion writer Charles Lane writes, “According to an analysis” of euthanasia cases “from 2011 to 2014” published Feb. 10 in JAMA Psychiatry by psychiatrist Scott Kim, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues, psychiatric patients in the Netherlands “were often euthanized despite disagreement among consulting physicians as to whether they met legal criteria” for euthanasia under that country’s laws.

What’s more, “in 37 cases, patients refused possibly beneficial treatment, and” physicians went ahead anyway, while “in seven cases, doctors did not seek an independent psychiatric evaluation, contrary to recommendations by the Dutch Psychiatric Association.”

According to Lane, these findings undermine “the very notion of a ‘voluntary and well-considered’ request for death from a patient who is, by definition, cognitively and/or emotionally troubled.”

Related Links:

— “Where the prescription for autism can be death,” Charles Lane, Washington Post, February 24, 2016.

Posted in In The News.