This is an excellent reply by Dr. William Reichel concerning the claims by Jerry Dincin of the Final Exit Network. This short comment is worth reading.
June 15, 2010
I am a physician who has studied assisted-suicide and euthanasia since 1988, especially in the Netherlands. I was very concerned to see the June 12 guest column by Jerry Dincin, president of Final Exit Network, whose members are currently facing criminal charges. His thrust is the apparent elimination of large numbers of people in the name of purported "choice" ("Respect Choice of Suicide for Those Who Are Suffering").
In the Netherlands, assisted suicide and euthanasia are also promoted as providing a "choice." Moreover, Dutch law calls for performing these practices with the patient's consent. This is not, however, always done.
2005 is the most recent year for which we have an official report from the Dutch government. The report is written to defend its law, but nonetheless concedes that 550 patients (an average of 1.5 per day) were actively killed by Dutch doctors "without an explicit request."
Final Exit Network and other suicide promotion groups hold out the carrot of "choice" to induce the public into believing that assisted suicide and euthanasia are somehow benign. Those who believe that these practices will assure their "choice," or the "choice" of their family, are naive.
William Reichel, M.D., Affiliated Scholar, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
Link to the article in the Desmoines Register: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100615/OPINION04/6150373/1038/OPINION/Group-backs-death-under-guise-of-choice