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How do the Dutch respond to euthanasia requests from the intellectually disabled?

by Michael Cook, Bioedge, 14 April 2018

Despite the fact that assessing the capacity of intellectually disabled people is very difficult and a task for specialists, the authors found that only in one of the nine cases was a specialist consulted.

“The Dutch cases raise the possibility that the bar for assessment of intractable suffering is set lower for people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder than for the general population, by considering their long term disability as a medical rather than a social condition. We found no evidence of safeguards against the influence of the physicians’ own subjective value judgements when considering EAS decision, nor of processes designed to guard against transference of the physicians’ own values and prejudices.”

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