Posted on June 20, 2020 at 4:00 AM
There is growing interest in advance directives for stopping eating and drinking, especially as a way to avoid living in late-stage dementia. ADs for SED are legitimate under existing law in most U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
But what if the incapacitated patient makes a gesture or utterance that seems to contradict the prior instructions in the AD for SED? What if she now asks for water? Many jurisdictions allow or require incapacitated statements to revoke the AD.
A recent case from the Netherlands reaches a better result, holding that incapacitated objections do not revoke the patient’s prior instructions for euthanasia. In a News-Hour television interview the physician, Marinou Arends, explains her decision to euthanize a patient even over her apparent objections.