Investigation into possible punishable case of euthanasia
The Board of Procurators General decided to launch a criminal investigation into a possible punishable case of euthanasia carried out by a physician in a nursing home. The investigation will be led by the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Public Prosecution Service in The Hague. The suspect was acting as a physician when she carried out euthanasia on a 74-year old severely demented and incapacitated woman in the spring of 2016.
The Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTE) have come to a judgement early this year that the physician of the nursing home “did not act in accordance with the criteria of due diligence” of the termination of life on request and assisted suicide (review procedure) act. The woman had had a will drawn up some years ago before her admittance to the nursing home, but it was ambiguous and contradictory. Furthermore, in the opinion of RTE the physician crossed a line in carrying out the euthanasia.
RTE has sent their view to the Public Prosecution Service in order to receive a criminal judgement. On the basis of the Instructions on decisions to prosecute in cases of termination of life on request and assisted suicide the competent organ to take decisions on launching investigations into such cases is the Board of Procurators General.
It is the Board’s conclusion that there is serious suspicion that the physician committed a criminal offence and therefore, a criminal investigation will be started. After The Chief public Prosecutor of the Public Prosecution Service in The Hague will have closed the investigation the Board will be informed on the results and will be given advice. Subsequently, the Board of Procurators General will decide whether or not to persecute the physician.