Friday, July 17, 2020

Dangerous "Completed Life" bill would extend euthanasia in the Netherlands to healthy people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A bill to extend euthanasia in the Netherlands to people who are healthy, but "tired of living" was submitted by Pia Dykstra (D66 party). An article by Janene Pieters in the NL Times reported that:
The legislative proposal allows people over the age of 75 who feel that they have come to the end of their life and have a persistent wish to die to ask for euthanasia.
Typical of media bias, the bill does not give people who are 75 the right to ask for euthanasia, but rather it gives them the right to die by euthanasia.

Dykstra was reported as stating that the completed life euthanasia law would only be for a small group of people. Pieters reported:
"It is a small group, someone must be at least 75 years old. In addition, as a result of the Van Wijngaarden committee, I put extra emphasis in my law on the professional end-of-life counselor, who enters into discussions with people about their wish to die. He does not assess whether it is possible, but looks where that wish comes from and whether there are alternatives. I also pay more attention to the family and the general practitioner or treating doctor."
Pieters reported that Harry van der Molen (CDA party) told the Telegraaf news:
"As far as the CDA is concerned, there will be no completed life law, but we will tackle the causes of loneliness. Especially when people feel alone, abandoned or lost, they need attention or care."
The bill uses the edge of a wedge strategy. If passed it would soon be discriminatory to deny death by lethal drugs to a 74 year-old or even a 44 year-old who fit the criteria. 

Considering that recently the Netherlands Supreme Court approved the euthanasia death of a woman with dementia who resisted, extending euthanasia to people who are healthy but who believe that their life has lost meaning is dangerous and will lead to suicide on demand.

The NL Times article also focuses on how the new euthanasia legislation may affect the Netherlands government coalition that is composed of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie parties. While the bill has been submitted by the D66 the CDA and ChristenUnie party members oppose it. The "completed life" bill may split the coalition government and cause an election.

Completed life has been debated in the Netherlands for several years. Recently a group of American euthanasia activists started their own completed life initiative. The end goal of the nihilistic euthanasia lobby is suicide on demand.


Karen Dwyer said...

Alex, I commend you for your continued commitment to working on the prevention of euthanasia, including researching and following up on stories around the world. It must be incredibly frustrating, saddening, and maddening at times. The Lord bless you and keep you.

Village Girl said...

This is a very dangerous bill. I am in my seventies and recently suffered a bereavement that in the early stages of grieving left me feeling that life had no purpose any more. I did not commit suicide nor if it was available would I have asked for Euthanasia as I am very religious. What I did do was find a very good therapist to help me. I was also patient with myself, knowing that feelings change over time. I have always enjoyed life and I have few health problems. Now three years on I am back to my old self and full of life and energy and purpose.
People who feel they no longer want to live and have completed their lives need help with therapy, support and love. They do not need to be put down like some animal.

Agi nurse said...

I absolutely agree with you Village girl. I am so happy that you took the right steps to help you through your difficult time, and that you are enjoying your life again.

We had put down our dear family pet of 13 years. I fought against it with my husband, but he said it was the humane thing to do.
Well it was the absolute worst thing I have experienced. I will never, ever euthanize my loving pets ever again! When our newest addition to our family (a lovely dog who is 3 years old now) gets old and sick, we will lovingly look after her until her natural death.
I find euthanasia for animals just as repulsive as it is for humans beings.

Anonymous said...

Euthanasia and the ever-increasing pressure to increase its application is a sure sign of a society that is losing (has lost?) its ability to love and care for one another. Rather than search for ways to help and care for those who are in their last moments or who have lost hope and meaning in life, we find an expedient and inexpensive way to avoid the "problem" of end of life. Thank you Alex and all who support you for being the voice of love and reason. You are shining the light of love in the darkness.