Being starved and dehydrated to death is a horrible and agonizing death, as many a British child knew before succumbing to the Orwellianly named “Liverpool Care Pathway”. Now in Nevada, a diagnoses with Dementia can bring down such a death sentence.
SB121, passed this year, would allow an advanced directive, in the case of dementia, to not only refuse medicine and treatment, but to be denied food and water:
“2.The form for end-of-life decisions of a power of attorney for health care for an adult with any form of dementia may be substantially in the following form, and must be witnessed or executed in the same manner as the following form:
END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS ADDENDUM STATEMENT OF DESIRES
(You can, but are not required to, state what you want to happen if you get very sick and are not likely to get well. You do not have to complete this form, but if you do, your agent must do as you ask if you cannot speak for yourself.)
……………….. (Insert name of agent) might have to decide, if you get very sick, whether to continue with your medicine or to stop your medicine, even if it means you might not live, ………………… (Insert name of agent) will talk to you to find out what you want to do, and will follow your wishes.
If you are not able to talk to ……………….. (insert name of agent), you can help him or her make these decisions for you by letting your agent know what you want.
Here are your choices. Please circle yes or no to each of the following statements and sign your name below
4. I want to get food and water even if I do not want to take medicine or receive treatment. YES NO”
Purportedly, one can reverse or negate any such declaration in the future by simple verbal command. However, this form is explicitly for dementia, and is signing over power and making a living will if dementia was indicated, thus leaving the patient legally incompetent to decide for themself if they choose to have food or water or not!
There is precedent for killing off people who wanted to live, just because they had been diagnosed with dementia. In the Netherlands, a doctor forcible euthanized a woman who shouted that she wanted to live… while she was being held down by her family.
But that’s just the Netherlands, one might say, it is a slippery-slope fallacy to say it will happen here. Except it already has: In Florida a woman was starved/dehyadrated to death even despite the courts not being able to prove that she was incompetent when the dehydration commenced.
The slippery-slope fallacy ain’t so fallacious when you can see example after example of euthanasia sliding down just such a slope and an ever-increasing rate of speed.