Human Exceptionalism

Dutch Doctors Turning to Terminal Sedation Over Euthanasia

Demonstrating the subversive nature of the euthanasia/assisted suicide movement on proper medical care, Dutch doctors are switching from lethally injecting patients to sedating them into a permanent coma so they die by dehydration over a period of days or weeks. This is the angle being taken in new proposals in CA and Vermont, demonstrating that what we are really dealing with here is a form of euthanasia. From the story:

Terminally-ill patients in the Netherlands increasingly receive drugs to render them unconscious until death, according to a study that suggests people are substituting deep sedation for legal euthanasia. The researchers found that 1,800 people–7.1 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands in 2005– were drugged into so-called continuous deep sedation shortly before dying. This compares with 5.6 percent of cases in 2001.
At the same time, the use of euthanasia fell from 2.6 percent of all deaths to 1.7 percent, representing a decrease of 1,200 cases, the researchers reported in the British Medical Journal on Friday. “The increased use of continuous deep sedation for patients nearing death in the Netherlands and the limited use of palliative consultation suggests that this practice is increasingly considered as part of a regular medical practice,” Judith Rietjens of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam and colleagues wrote.

I suspect that Dutch doctors are switching euthanasia methods because in formal euthanasia, they have to be present at the bedside at death, meaning they watch as the killing actions they take terminate life. With terminal sedation, they don’t have to be present.

This intentional co-opting of a proper palliative measure, rarely needed, at the very end of life–known as palliative sedation–in which the disease causes death, not dehydration, is scandalous. But why should we be surprised? The killing agenda corrupts all it touches.