Bioethicist Wesley Smith posted the article in italics below on the website of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (http://www.cbc-network.org/2013/01/bioethicist-lets-find-a-way-to-kill-alzheimers-patients/). It is a critique of an article in the Hastings Center Report that advocates euthanasia for people with Alzheimer’s.
We know that a woman with Alzheimer’s was euthanized in 2011 in the Netherlands. She had requested euthanasia while competent but definitely was not competent at the time of her death (http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/09/first-euthanasia-in-netherlands-of-severe-alzheimers-patient/).
Smith is rightly very troubled by the Hastings Center article’s advocacy for euthanasia of Alzheimer’s patients for cost-cutting purposes.
Never kid yourself that the competency requirement in assisted suicide laws will hold. As we wrote yesterday, in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, there has already been a newspaper piece advocating extending it to the euthanasia of non-competent people (http://www.theolympian.com/2011/11/16/1878667/perhaps-its-time-to-expand-washingtons.html).
We hope to read the original article and summarize it within the next few days.
Bioethicist: Let’s Find a Way to Kill Alzheimer’s Patients!
by Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC