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Dutch Court Rejects Claim on Non-Medical Assisted Dying

In April 2021, the Dutch Right to Die Society ‘Cooperation Last Will (CLW)‘ summoned the Dutch state for their legal provision on ‘assisted suicide’. The aim of the trial was the legalization of humane last means for those who request it. 

Wednesday, December 14, Dutch judges rejected that claim, ruling that the Dutch existing law strikes a “fair balance between the societal interests of a ban on assisting a suicide – protection of life and preventing abuse of vulnerable persons – and the interests of an individual to have access to physician-assisted suicide in the case of unbearable suffering without the prospect it will get better.”

Nevertheless, the court acknowledged that the current scheme does not allow everyone to voluntarily and deliberately end their own life and that a group therefore falls “between two stools.”

Cooperation Last Will accommodates people who favor the concept of assisted suicide and self-euthanasia without the intervention of doctors. In support of this mission, CLW and 29 co-plaintiffs brought a lawsuit seeking to widen existing laws. It argued that the ban on assisting suicide not overseen by medical professionals violated the right to self-determination and respect for private life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

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