June 2, 2016
Euthanasia in Holland
Euthanasia advocates often dismiss the existence of a slippery slope as concerns the practice of euthanasia. Yet, the experience in Holland proves it is real. Ethicist Theo Boer a nine year member of a euthanasia regional review committee in the Netherlands writes that the numbers of euthanasia deaths started increasing by 15% each year beginning in 2007. There were 5,306 euthanasia deaths in 2014, almost three times the number from 2002. During his time on the committee, he reviewed nearly 4,000 cases of euthanasia.
Regarding cases of non-voluntary euthanasia , he says: “On top of these voluntary deaths there are about 300 non-voluntary deaths (where the patient is not judged competent) annually. These are cases of illegal killing, extracted from anonymous surveys among physicians , and therefore almost impossible to prosecute.”
“Furthermore , contrary to claims made by many, the Dutch law did not bring down the number of suicides; instead suicides went up by 35% over the past six years.”
The reasons for requesting and granting euthanasia have expanded as well:”…an increasing number of patients now seek assisted dying because of dementia, psychiatric illnesses, and accumulated age-related complaints…In some reported cases, the suffering largely consists of being old, lonely or bereaved.”
The Dutch Right to Die Society (NVVE) “offers course materials to high schools intended to broaden support for euthanasia as a normal death.”
NVVE is also responsible for setting up a mobile euthanasia clinic where doctors will go to the patient to euthanize them. This travelling unit is for patients whose own doctors will not agree to their euthanasia request.
Mr. Boer continues:”As part of its campaign, NVVE distributed pillboxes containing 50 tiny peppermints. Called the Last Will Pill, the box illustrates the organization’s resolve to make a suicide pill available to anyone aged 70 and older.”
No slippery slope? Think again.
Source :Rushing toward death? Assisted dying in the Netherlands by Theo A.Boer , March 28, 2016 The Christian Century.
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