Anticipating an unwanted future: euthanasia and dementia in the Netherlands
This ethnographic exploration of anticipation published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropology Institute draws on fieldwork among people with dementia and their families in the Netherlands. Natashe Lemos Dekker examines how requests for euthanasia by people with dementia offer insight into the work of anticipation, revealing it to be a temporal orientation through which the future is made tangible.
- Natashe Lemos Dekker
- 15 December 2020
- Full Article
Imagining a future with dementia may prompt some people to request euthanasia, but timing such measures is extremely difficult and often results in deferral. Contributing to an emerging anthropology of time, I argue that anticipation is a process of establishing, collapsing, and renegotiating the temporal distance between present and future, bringing the future into the present while also, and simultaneously, keeping the future at bay as a continuous ‘not yet’.