The Netherlands set to expand assisted death again, now to people who are not sick or dying

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

assisted-suicide_mediumThe Dutch government has decided to expand their euthanasia law to include people who are not physically or psychologically sick but who believe that their “life is completed.”

According to the New York Times

Edith Schippers, the health minister, read a letter to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday defending the measure. It is needed, she said, to address the needs of “older people who do not have the possibility to continue life in a meaningful way, who are struggling with the loss of independence and reduced mobility, and who have a sense of loneliness, partly because of the loss of loved ones, and who are burdened by general fatigue, deterioration and loss of personal dignity.”

The letter said that the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte hoped to draft the law by the end of 2017 in consultation with doctors and ethicists

NL Times reporter, Janene Pieters wrote

The Dutch government wants to adjust the Euthanasia Act so that people who aren’t sick, but feel that their life is completed, can end their lives with assisted suicide. This will only be allowed under “strict and rigorous criteria,” the government wrote to parliament. The majority of parliamentarians support the plan.

Coalition parties VVD and PvdA and opposition party support the proposal to change the law. That gives the proposal a majority vote in Parliament, with 88 out of 150 parliamentarians in favor. In the Senate the three parties only represent 33 out of 75 senators, however. With the Christian parties set 100 percent against the proposal, this means that the PVV, SP or a collection of smaller parties will also have to support this change in the euthanasia law for it to be implemented.

The Dutch government is going against the recommendations of their parliamentary committee. The NL Times reported back in February:

The committee, chaired by Paul Schnabel, concluded that nothing has to be changed about the Euthanasia Act. The current law provides enough space for “most” people to qualify for euthanasia if they consider their life completed, according to the committee. The committee was also against the introduction of a so-called “suicide pill” as there is too great a risk of it falling into the wrong hands.

The report in the Dutchnew.nl increased my concerns. It stated:

In their briefing, the ministers say that ‘elderly’ people with a consistent and well-considered wish to die – whether ill or not – should be able to take a drug to end their lives. Family members would not be allowed to administer the drug.

The practice would not be considered euthanasia, in which the patient is said to be suffering unbearably, and in which doctors have an active role.

The expansion of euthanasia in the Netherlands has been happening for many years.

Based on the 2015 Dutch government statistics, the number of euthanasia deaths increased by 289% since 2006 with 5561 reported euthanasia deaths. Among those deaths there were 109 people who died by euthanasia based on dementia, up from 81 in 2014 and 56 people died by euthanasia based on psychiatric reasons in 2015, up from 41 in 2014.

For those who believe that euthanasia can be controlled, this news should cause them to think again. Once a nation permits doctors, or others, to kill their people by lethal injection, then that nation has opened the door to an ever expanding option to kill. Woe to Canada who recently approved medical killing.

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