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Dutch Bill proposed to legalise assisted suicide for people who consider their lives to be completed

 

Assisted suicide for elderly people – an age limit of 75 and more is suggested – who consider their lives to be completed, could be made possible under a bill brought forward by Parliament member Pia Dijkstra of the Dutch political party D66.  An individual to whom the bill applies

should have an intrinsic and consistent wish to die; he may be helped by a so called “end-of-life practitioner”. This registered professional can  grant and carry out the request when the request meets these criteria. The request must be expressed in at least two interviews, with a gap of at least two months in between, to make sure the death-wish is lasting. A second end-of-life practitioner has to evaluate the case as well.

Dijkstra: ‘There are plenty of examples of people who say, “I’ve had enough of life, I have children and grandchildren, they’re all doing well, but I’m detached, I don’t play a role in their lives any more. The only thing waiting for me is decline and I don’t want to go through that.”‘

In October Health minister Edith Schippers told Parliament that the government (see her letter of explanation)  had the intention to legalise assisted suicide for elderly people who are ‘suffering from life’, but did not bring forward any concrete proposal.  Pia Dijkstra’s bill is first published on-line (in Dutch only; text of Bill also in Dutch to be read here) so people can comment and respond (deadline 31 January 2017) before it is put before Parliament.

 

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