The ruling from the court means another safeguard has disappeared.
There has been a further change to euthanasia laws in The Netherlands following a ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court on Tuesday (21 April).
Doctors can no longer be prosecuted for carrying out the euthanasia of dementia patients who previously gave written consent.
It used to be the case that patients would have to confirm their request.
The devastating move comes after a Dutch doctor was taken to court after carrying out an assisted suicide for a patient with Alzheimer’s. The patient had previously requested the procedure after her diagnosis.
At the time, she added in her statement that she wanted to decide “while still in my sense and when I think the time is right.”
Then, before she was taken into care, it was decided that she should receive an assisted suicide because of her prior statement.
On the day her life was ended, she woke up during the killing and had to be held down by her husband and daughter.
In the court case that followed, prosecutors argued the doctor did not properly consult with the 74-year-old patient.
Further expansion of euthanasia laws in the Netherlands is hardly a surprise. This is a country where is legal for a child to be euthanised in certain circumstances. It is yet another safeguard vanishing. It is also a powerful warning to the UK: why we would we be any different? It is up to those advocating a law change here to prove that any change would not be open to abuse or exploitation. Our view remains the same. The right to die will become a duty to die. This would not be a progressive, but rather a retrograde step for our country.