2019-123, due care criteria complied with

Straightforward notification, full report of findings, patient
with experience of the disease because it caused death of family members.

The patient, a woman in her sixties, heard that she had Huntington’s disease about 10 years before euthanasia was performed. Her condition was incurable. She could only be treated palliatively. She often experienced involuntary movements and was constantly tired. The patient was also restless and lived in a state of constant anxiety. She was afraid of developing dementia and incontinence and, as the dementia progressed, of no longer being able to communicate.

She suffered from the loss of independence, the prospect of having to be admitted to a care institution and the lack of any prospect of improvement. She was aware of how the disease would progress because a number of deceased relatives of hers had suffered from it and she did not wish to experience the same process of decline. She experienced her suffering as unbearable.

The physician was satisfied that this suffering was unbearable to her and with no prospect of improvement according to prevailing medical opinion. There were no alternative ways to alleviate the patient’s suffering
that were acceptable to her.

The committee found that the physician had acted in accordance with the due care criteria.