A 70-year-old Dutch woman sipped her coffee and excitedly made plans with her husband and children to spend the afternoon with them and eat a meal together. The woman suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, but was lucid enough to know her family and make plans for the day. What she didn’t know was that she would not be spending the afternoon with them or eating lunch — her family had already made plans with the doctor to end her life.
The unidentified Alzheimer’s patient had suffered from the disease for four years and wrote a living will, saying she did not want to go into a nursing home and would prefer assisted suicide when she determined the “time was right,” reported the National Catholic Register. However, as of last year, her dementia had progressed to the point that her aging husband could not care for her. When she entered the nursing home she told the staff that she wished to die but “not right now.”
The day that she was euthanized she was making plans to spend time with her family. She didn’t know that her husband had decided with the doctor that “she was ready to die.” The sedative the family put in her coffee didn’t work, so the doctor came into the room to administer the first of three fatal drugs. She aroused from her sleepy state and fought the doctor who was attempting to give her the shot. It was then that the patient’s family was asked to hold her down for the procedure. According to a report from the Dutch Regional Review Committee, the doctor did not stop because she did not think that it was “appropriate to halt termination of life,” as the topic of assisted suicide had been discussed for a while and the doctor didn’t want the patient to “get cold feet.”
While the patient frequently talked with nursing home staff about wanting to die, when asked by the doctor if she wanted to die, she repeatedly replied, “Not now … it’s not so bad!”
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