Euthanasia for Alcoholism

TitleEuthanasia for Alcoholism
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBoxall, SF, Cox-White, B, Funke, RD, Funke, MB, Myers, GA
Date Published2017
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractOn July 14, 2016, a Dutch general practitioner euthanized Mark Langedijk by giving him a lethal injection. Langedijk’s death had been approved by a physician from Support and Consultation on Euthanasia (SCEN), the Netherlands’ medical body that examines requests from persons wishing to avail themselves of state-assisted dying. “Enough is enough,” stated the 41-year-old alcoholic, who had unsuccessfully undergone twenty-one attempts at rehabilitation for his addiction. His marriage destroyed, Langedijk said he “could not continue to live as an alcoholic.” Physician-performed-euthanasia (“mercy killing”) has been permissible in the Netherlands since 2002; although still officially illegal, it is not prosecuted when 1) the patient’s request is voluntary and well-considered, 2) the patient’s suffering is unbearable, and 3) there is no prospect of improvement.
NotesCase from the 2017 Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2016