Euthanasia on dementia patient 'legal'

28th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 April 2006, BRUSSELS — A Ghent doctor did not break the law in helping an 87-year-old dementia patient to die on 20 January this year, the public prosecution office has said.

28 April 2006

BRUSSELS — A Ghent doctor did not break the law in helping an 87-year-old dementia patient to die on 20 January this year, the public prosecution office has said.

But the case has not yet been dismissed. The euthanasia supervision and evaluation commission must still give advice on the case.

The doctor, Marc Cosyns, gave his patient a drink of barbiturates in January and she died shortly after.

Euthanasia laws ban mercy killings on dementia or Alzheimer's patients, unless they are consciously aware.

Cosyns claims the woman had requested euthanasia at a moment in which she had clarity of thought.

Moreover, strictly speaking her death could be seen as a form of suicide, because she drank from the cup herself.

Cosyns has said he wants to spark public debate about the ethics of allowing dementia patients to undergo euthanasia.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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