Name: Rietje Willms. Died: June 12, 2016. Age at death: 80. Cause of death: Neglect. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Disability: Dementia.
Rietje was the widow of a successful plumber and real estate dealer. She had inherited his money, and one of her four sons wanted it. When he saw that Rietje was getting dementia, he manipulated her into making him her sole heir. Then he locked her away in his house and neglected her; another of her sons said that sometimes, when he walked by the house, he could hear her in the house, crying to be let out. Rietje was eventually found dead of dehydration, a victim of neglect.
Perpetrator: Hans W. (Son), his girlfriend Susan, and a paid caregiver.
Name Unknown. Died: 2016, Date unknown. Age at death: 74. Cause of death: Involuntary euthanasia. Location: Netherlands. Disability: Dementia.
When she was diagnosed with dementia, this woman was asked whether she wanted to schedule euthanasia. She said she might want euthanasia, but only when she herself asked for it.
Over the next few years, family and nursing home staff asked her several times whether she wanted euthanasia, but each time, she would reply, “No, not yet. It’s not that bad yet.”
Only weeks after she was moved to a new nursing home, her doctor decided it was time for her to die. So her doctor put a sedative in her coffee and waited for her to fall asleep; but she did not fall asleep, and instead started making plans to visit her family.
When the doctor tried injecting the euthanasia drug, but she fought for her life, and her doctor told her family to hold her down. This they did, and she died.
She was described as a “small, resolute woman” who had worked with children during her career.
Perpetrator: Her doctor, nursing home, and family. The doctor was reprimanded for not acting in accordance with due care, and is under criminal prosecution.