Assisted Suicide

Dutch court rejects expansion of who can assist a suicide.

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A Dutch court rejected a challenge to the Netherlands euthanasia law by the group – Coöperatie Laatste Wil [Cooperative Last Will]. The group launched the court case in October that challenged the Dutch euthanasia law because it restricts killing to doctors. The group wants “to widen euthanasia laws” so that anyone would be able to assist a suicide with legal immunity.

As reported by Reuters news, the Hague District Court in their written decision

ruled that the Dutch law strikes a “fair balance between the societal interests of a ban on assisting a suicide – protection of life and preventing abuse of vulnerable persons – and the interests of an individual to have access to physician-assisted suicide in the case of unbearable suffering without the prospect it will get better”.

Cooperative Last Will promotes access and assistance for suicide for anyone. Reuters explained what the case concerned:

Right-to-die organisation Cooperative Last Will brought the case with the aim of widening existing laws. It argued the ban on assisting suicide not overseen by medical professionals violated the right to self-determination and respect for private life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Reuters news article on October 10 reported that Cooperative Last Will is also involved in another court case concerning the distribution of a suicide substance:

Cooperative Last Will has been promoting a suicide powder it calls “Substance X” since 2018. There is a separate ongoing case before the Dutch courts against a member of the cooperative who is suspected of illegally assisting suicide by selling “Substance X” to at least 33 people.

A ruling is expected on Dec. 14, the judges said.

On September 30,  I published an article by Randy Knol, concerning the arrest of Jos van Wijk, chairman of  Cooperative Last Will. Van Wijk was arrested for allegedly participating in a criminal organization.

Randy is the father of Ximena, a 19-year-old who died in February 2018 by ingesting the suicide powder known as “Substance X.”

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