Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mobile euthanasia units started in the Netherlands today.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Recently there has been a series of articles claiming that the euthanasia experiment in the Netherlands is fine and good. No problems, stop worrying.

It doesn't seem to matter that the euthanasia numbers continue to rise. Last year there were 3136 reported euthanasia deaths (19% increase) with another 20% likely being unreported as well as the euthanasia deaths that are done without explicit request. It doesn't seem to matter that euthanasia is being done to people with chronic depression or mental pain and even a case of euthanasia for blindness.

The message is simple, don't worry, be happy, go ahead and legalize euthanasia in your country.

Two recent one-sided false studies by pro-euthanasia researchers have stated that there is no fear of a slippery slope. Too bad these studies were stacked with pro-euthanasia researchers who didn't bother seeking a balanced approach. The first one was released by the Royal Society of Canada and the second by Dying in Dignity in the UK under the leadership of Lord Falconer.

Today, the Netherlands euthanasia lobby (NVVE) launched six mobile euthanasia teams as part of a euthanasia clinic to cause an estimated 1000 euthanasia deaths to people who were either turned down by their doctor, or who are disabled or frail elderly and lacking mobility.

Even the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) which supports euthanasia is not comfortable with the mobile death teams. The Courier Mail (Australia) reported:
But the (KNMG), which represents 53,000 doctors and medical students in the Netherlands, said it was sceptical whether Life-end clinic doctors could form a close-enough relationship with a patient to decide whether an assisted suicide should be done.
"We are not against euthanasia if there is no other alternative," KNMG policy advisor Eric van Wijlick said.
"But euthanasia is a complicated process. It comes from the long-time treatment of a patient based on a relationship of trust.
"A holistic view of the patient's treatment needs to be taken, including whether another alternative to euthanasia exists.
"We have serious doubts whether this can be done by a doctor who is only focus on performing euthanasia.”
EPC has serious doubts that a doctor, who work with the euthanasia clinic will follow the loose, but often referred to as strict, criteria in the Netherlands euthanasia law. We are also concerned with the willingness of these doctors to protect someone from elder abuse, which is difficult to identify and a growing problem in society.

Consider the following facts about euthanasia in the Netherlands:
  1. The number of euthanasia deaths increased by 19% in 2010 to 3136 euthanasia deaths.
  2. The most recent five year update from the Netherlands stated that 80.2% of all euthanasia deaths are reported and there are approximately 550 deaths without request or consent per year in the Netherlands.
  3. The NVVE is pushing the government to permit euthanasia for people who are "tired of living" who are 70 years old and wish to die by euthanasia for any or no reason.
  4. Psychiatrists in the Netherlands are permitting euthanasia for patients with mental illness who are not otherwise dying.
  5. The Groningen Protocol continues to allow euthanasia of infants born with disabilities.
It is interesting that the Guardian (UK) stated:
"The teams would be limited to one house visit a week to minimize the psychological burden on them."
Maybe that means that the euthanasia lobby recognizes that there is a human cost to killing.

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