Thursday, July 4, 2024

Netherlands assisted suicide group leader found guilty of distributing suicide drug

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Netherlands court have given light sentences to members of Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) who were promoting the use of a suicide powder. They were also found to be collaborating with (Alex S) who was convicted in 2023 for assisting the suicides of at least 10 people but was known to have sold a suicide powder to at least 1600 people.

Jos van Wijk
It is good that the Dutch court prosecuted Tineke B and Jos van Wijk but considering the pain and suffering of the families who lost loved ones, the sentence may not deter future similar crimes.

The NL Times reported on July 4 that Tineke B. (74) and Jos van Wijk (76), the former chairman of (CLW) were convicted for collaborating with Alex S. Alex S was convicted last year of selling drug X to at least 1600 people. 

(CLW) is a Netherlands assisted suicide group that believes that everyone should have access to drugs for the purpose of suicide. They were known for promoting the use of drug X. reported on July 18, 2023 that (Alex S) from Eindhoven Netherlands was convicted for selling a suicide powder, with instructions, to as many as 1600 people. (Alex S) was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in the suicide deaths of at least 10 people who were known to have died.

Jos van Wijk the former chairman of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil was originally arrested on September 30, 2021 for allegedly participating in a criminal organization with other CLW members being added to the prosecution list later.

The NL Times reported on July 4, 2024 that:

B. got a suspended prison sentence of 1 year with a probation period of four years. According to the court, she was involved in the assisted suicide of at least one woman and thereby caused a lot of suffering to the woman’s loved ones. “As a result of their mediation, this lady was given Drug X and an antiemetic with which she ultimately ended her life,” the court said. The woman’s daughter said in her victim statement that a distance occurred between her and her mother since her mother made contact with B. “As a result of which, she was unable to assist her mother in the final phase of her life in the way that she wanted,” the court said. That weighed heavily in B.’s sentence, the court said.

Van Wijk got a suspended prison sentence of 4 months and a probation period of 1 year. According to the court, as the director of CLW at the time, Van Wijk should have taken faster, clearer, and stricter action against the informal trade of the suicide drug. “He allowed a culture to continue in which drug X could be provided by the group. His intention to participate in the criminal organization can be deduced from the conscious development and continuation of a certain culture in which rules are broken and in which the man was even actively involved at times.”

According to the court, there was not enough evidence to prove that Erik van V. (75), Jos S. (75), and Marja K. (76) participated in that criminal organization. The court acquitted them. The OM asked the court to acquit another former director, Petra de Jong (71), and the court agreed with that request.

Ximena Knol, who was 19 years-old, (pictured on left) died in February 2018 after ingesting the suicide powder.

The Netherlands court seemed to ignore the fact that CLW members were promoting the use of the suicide powder in the media. 

On May 9, 2023, Canadian, Kenneth Law (57) was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting the suicide deaths of two people in Peel Region, through online sales of a substance that is lethal in high concentrations. Law sold the substance online for the purposes of aiding suicide. Law allegedly distributed 1200 packages of the suicide powder and is possibly linked to deaths in many countries.

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