Netherlands Considers Euthanasia For Healthy People, Doctors Say Things Are ‘Getting Out Of Hand’
The Federalist 30 June 2017
Family First Comment: “In 2016, there were 6,091 reported instances of euthanasia in the Netherlands. Of those, 141 were for patients with dementia. That is up from 12 such cases in 2009. Also for patients with chronic psychiatric illness, there were 0 instances of euthanasia in 2009, but by 2016 that number had risen to 60. “The numbers are small, you could argue,” Chabot writes. “But look at the rapid increase…The financial gutting of the health care sector has particularly harmed the quality of life of these types of patients. It’s logical to conclude that euthanasia is going to skyrocket.””
Politicians in the Netherlands are discussing the possibility of legalizing euthanasia for healthy people. The proposed “Completed Life Bill” would allow any person age 75 or over who decides their life is “complete” to receive euthanasia. It doesn’t matter if they are otherwise perfectly healthy.
Under current Dutch law, a person only becomes eligible for euthanasia when they have a terminal illness and are suffering unbearably. Pia Dijkstra, an MP for Dutch political party D66, is preparing to introduce the Completed Life Bill. D66 spearheaded most of the groundbreaking socially progressive legislation for which the Netherlands is famous. They are historically a smaller party—they’ve never had a Prime Minister—but they’ve proven themselves to be politically effective.
What Would It Take For This To Pass?
D66 would eventually like to legalize euthanasia for any adult who wishes to die. They openly admit that the Completed Life Bill is a step towards realizing that goal. In March, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold was confronted on a political talk show by a 57-year-old man who said he wishes to die. He asked why the Completed Life Bill is only persons age 75 and older. “I have to wait 18 more years. I don’t feel like waiting 18 years. I want it now,” he said.
Pechtold replied, “It’s my personal opinion that in our civilization dying is an individual consideration. You didn’t ask to be brought into the world.” He went on to explain that currently there is political support for legalizing euthanasia for healthy elderly persons. “If we want to maintain that support and not disrupt the discussion then we have to take it step-by-step. In 2002 we passed the euthanasia law for unbearable suffering. In my view, Pia Dijkstra can now continue persuading parliament and the country to—in my own words and personal opinion—take the next step for our civilization.”
Ironically, the Dutch public news broadcaster decided to include a notice with the number for a suicide prevention hotline directly below where the video of Pechtold’s comments is embedded on their website.
If the Completed Life Bill comes to a vote in Parliament, it will most likely pass. Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy has said he is willing to enact it. The question is whether the bill will be placed on the legislative agenda.
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