Dutch debate euthanasia of their prince

Nearly six months ago Prince Friso, the son of Queen Beatrix, of the Netherlands, was buried in an avalanche while skiing in Austria. By the time he was rescued, he had already suffered severe brain damage. Ever since he has been in Wellington Hospital in London, where he was living and working before the accident. There is little chance that he will recover.

Now a well-known Dutch ethicist has claimed that if he had been hospitalised in the Netherlands, doctors would have stopped treating him. Heleen Dupuis, who is a member of the Dutch Upper House for the ruling Liberal Party (VVD), told Radio Netherlands, “it’s questionable whether the prince will ever have a normal life again. I understand that the chances are extremely small.”

Dr Dupuis made her remarks in a discussion about the cost of health care, an issue in the upcoming election in the Netherlands. As in other countries, the proportion of elderly is growing and ever more expensive drugs are being developed to keep them alive a bit longer. She supports a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis for the dilemmas that this creates.

According the Evening Standard, the royal family would like to bring the prince home to the Netherlands. “If doctors switch off his life support he would become the highest-profile patient to die under the euthanasia reforms.”

This article is published by Michael Cook and under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

comments powered by Disqus

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Recent Posts
Australia launches inquiry into safety and ethics of transgender medicine
18 Aug 2019
Fertility becomes a global money-spinner 
18 Aug 2019
‘Sperm sharing’ schemes in UK make IVF cheaper
18 Aug 2019
Push in Germany for legalisation of surrogacy
18 Aug 2019
Should countries compete to have the most permissive stem cell regulations?
18 Aug 2019

Home | About Us | Contact Us | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share |

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2019