The Mercury

Landmark trial on euthanasia opens

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THE HAGUE: A landmark euthanasia trial has begun the Netherland­s seeking to pinpoint what to do with dementia patients who have previously stated their wish to die under certain circumstan­ces but later might have second thoughts.

The court case centres on a 74-yearold woman who was euthanised three years ago despite some indication­s she might have changed her mind.

The nursing home doctor in the case is accused of breaching the Dutch euthanasia law.

While there is no doubt the doctor acted with good intentions, Sanne van der Harg of the public prosecutor’s office said the key question was: “To what extent do you, as a doctor, still have to enter into discussion with a patient suffering from dementia where the patient already has made a euthanasia statement?”

It is the first such case since the Netherland­s legalised euthanasia in 2002.

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