Taken from Relevant, magazine of Right to Die-NL (NVVE)
Volume 30, nr. 3, July 2004
by Marleen Peters
“It appears to me that many old people would find great reassurance if they could have a means to end their lives in an acceptable way at the moment that to them seems suitable.” It was with these words, published in quality paper NCR/Handelsblad in October, 1991, that Huib Drion, then a 74 year old former Supreme Court judge and professor of civil law at Leiden University, became internationally renowned as a supporter of individual rights of people to end their life.
With this article Drion sparked off a debate that has outlived his death, aged 86, on April 20, 2004. His plea for individual autonomy puts into words what many people were thinking. The said newspaper unusually published reactions for several weeks. Drion received hundreds of letters and requests for interviews and speaking engagements. While he was surprised by the debate he had triggered off, he also welcomed it. The media coined the (still non-existent) pill the “Drion pill”; he didn’t mind. Recently, the NVVE renamed the pill in ‘lastwillpill’.
Since the legalization of euthanasia by law, the NVVE has moved on to campaign for such a pill. It sees the self-determination in Drion’s ideas as the core of the issue.
The NVVE owes Drion a great deal. In deep respect for his initiative, the discussion will be continued.