The Danish society En Vaerdig Dod (EVD) was established only five years ago. It is still small, with only some 300 members.
Its key workers travel around Denmark giving speeches about euthanasia, explaining the law in the Netherlands, the arguments for and against, and then holding discussions. The society receives many requests for information from students of all ages, demonstrating that the subject is live with the public. On the other hand the government remains silent.
Most recently the society has been losing members and has been invited to give speeches far less often than before. It is working hard to reverse this trend. As yet the society has no press officer nor anyone experienced with the internet. It is also working to establish contacts in the Prime Minister’s office and other similar political centres.
On the positive side, EVD arranged a euthanasia study tour for GPs to the Netherlands and the NVVE, (thanks to Rob Jonquière). In addition EVD financed a Gallop poll where GPs were asked for their opinions regarding euthanasia and whether they had given terminal assistance to patients. The results were interesting:
- 9% admitted they had carried out euthanasia;
- 17% wanted euthanasia legalised;
- 22% wanted legalisation, provided euthanasia were carried out only by qualified doctors.
Source: Newsletter RtD-Europe, September 2005.