Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Netherlands Suicide Powder Deaths - Further Analysis.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A few days ago I reported that a man (known as Alex S) was arrested for assisting multiple suicides in Eindhoven Netherlands. I wrote that the NL Times reported that the Eindhoven man sold suicide powder to at least 6 people who died.

What I didn't report was that this was not the first time that the public prosecutor tried to lay charges in relation to deaths from the suicide powder known as "Substance X."

In March 2018, I reported that the Netherlands Public Prosecutor was investigating an assisted suicide group in the deaths of 4 people. One of those deaths was 19-year-old Ximena Knol who died on February 22, 2018. Since then, Randy Knol, Ximena's father has been trying to get "Substance X" banned.

Ximena Knol
At that time Reuters reported:
Prosecutors had been looking at the Final Wish cooperative since September... Final Wish made headlines... when the father of 19-year-old Ximena Knol said on television the group should be shut down after his daughter’s suicide using a powder believed to be the same “Substance X” the association promotes.

The Netherlands public prosecutor announced in March 2018 that they were investigating abuse of the euthanasia law in 4 deaths from 2017.
On July 21, 2021 when I wrote that the Public Prosecutor had charged a 28 year old man with assisting multiple suicides with lethal drugs the NL Times article stated:
the suspect is neither by profession, and thus he violated the law prohibiting assisting in someone's suicide, and the law regarding provision of prescription medication.
In other words, if the man had been a doctor then the only crime that would have been committed would be that it was an unreported euthanasia death but since the man is not a doctor therefore he broke the law.

This story underlines the hypocrisy of euthanasia laws. These laws give legal immunity to physicians who kill their patients (also, nurse practitioners in Canada). Since the man who assisted the suicides of at least 6 people is not a physician therefore he has been charged.

There are unreported euthanasia deaths and intentional deaths without consent every year in the Netherlands without prosecutions.

The New England Journal of Medicine (August, 2017) published a study titled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years that uncovers abuse of the law that examined ending of life acts in the Netherlands. The study found that there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request) in the Netherlands in 2015. Based on the data in the study 23% of all assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were done without request.

I agree that the man who assisted these suicides should be presecuted but I also believe that the Public Prosecutor should investigate the abuse of the euthanasia law by doctors. Netherlands doctors are not reporting euthanasia deaths and intentional killing without consent and it is ignored because these acts are done by doctors.

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