A 70-year-old woman who went blind was helped to die by euthanasia, Trouw reported at the weekend.
It is the first time someone was found to be ‘suffering unbearably’ purely because of blindness, the paper said. The assisted suicide was found to be in line with government rules by health inspectors, the paper said.
Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.
Trouw said the woman was born with poor eyesight but had gradually become blind. She had tried to kill herself several times and lived alone since her husband died.
Specialist Lia Bruin told the paper the woman’s case was exceptional. ‘She was, for example, obsessed by cleanliness and could not stand being unable to see spots on her clothes,’ Bruin is quoted as saying.
All five regional euthanasia monitoring boards were involved in assessing the woman’s case, Trouw said.