Can someone explain to me the Third Force Principle or direct me to the literature where I may find explanation?
The best start is in Casswiki.

Open in the left column the lemma Cassiopaean Experiment and click on Law of Three (starts on page 514). There you will find six pages of explanation including links to relevant other terms and subjects. Best to bookmark and/or download the Casswiki for further reference to other terms and subjects in the future.

Another way of approaching it is doing a forum wide search for the term duality and/or non-duality and read whatever you find appealing. Usually, that leads you to other referenced threads as well.

Maybe someone also knows where I can get a free course in speed reading online lol.
As for speed reading, I found only one older (2014) thread about that here but I'm not certain of whether its info is still accurate. The simplest solution would be to just google the term and see what's on offer.

Happy hunting ! :-)
Source: Right-to-die campaign group stops meet-ups after suicide powder court case -

Right-to-die campaign group stops meet-ups after suicide powder court case

August 19, 2021

An organization set up to campaign for the right to die will no longer organize meet-ups in members’ homes, in the wake of an investigation into a man suspected of distributing suicide powder to hundreds of people.

The Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) has written to its members saying that it wants to work within the law and is stopping the meet-ups for as long as criminal acts go on.

Earlier this month, a 28-year-old man from Eindhoven named as Alex S was arrested and remanded in custody for 30 days on suspicion of selling ‘suicide powder’ to at least dozens of people.

The man was said to be a member of CWL, which has apparently been investigating what role he played there, if any.

Police began to investigate him after the death of a woman in Best this year, but he had already attracted the attention of local broadcaster Omroep Brabant (in Dutch) as far back as 2018. He is thought to have sold the ‘suicide powder’ via online market website Marktplaats for as little as €20 plus postage.

Such substances are not banned in the Netherlands, partly because ministers fear that this would put the names of products in the public domain, but euthanasia is tightly controlled and only a doctor can help someone end their life, under strict conditions.

Living room meet-ups

Jos van Wijk, chairman of the CWL, told that the organization has 26,700 members and around 60 people who would lead discussion groups, held in members’ living rooms.

‘We asked them about what was happening during the living room meet-ups,’ he said. ‘They told us that at any rate during the meetings there was no distribution of any substance but that they had the impression that afterwards, some people might have ordered them not only for themselves but possibly for others.

‘If you order [fatal substances] for yourself, this is not a punishable act but the moment that you order for others and share with others, then you are liable to punishment. We did not want the risk that we were promoting punishable activities, so we are stopping the living room meetings, to investigate what is going on.’

Coverage in Dutch:
Laatste Wil stopt met bijeenkomsten vanwege illegale handel zelfmoordmiddel
Laatste Wil stopt voorlopig met huiskamerbijeenkomsten
Laatste Wil stopt bijeenkomsten vanwege illegale handel in zelfmoordpoeder
Archiving the latest from SOTT (by Ben Smee - The Guardian - Thu, 16 Sep 2021 10:11 UTC):

Queensland MPs vote to legalise voluntary euthanasia for those with terminal illness --

Main snippets:
Queensland has passed laws that will allow voluntary assisted dying for people with a terminal illness, with an overwhelming majority of MPs voting in favour.

The state - often perceived as Australia's most socially conservative - becomes the fifth Australian jurisdiction to allow voluntary euthanasia.

The state parliament voted 60 to 29 in favour, despite a fierce campaign by faith-based groups and attempts by opponents to introduce amendments that would have imposed barriers to access the new scheme.

Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) will be restricted to people with an advanced and progressive condition that causes intolerable suffering and was expected to cause death within a year.

The person must have decision-making capacity and will have to be separately and independently assessed by two doctors. They will then be required to make three separate requests over at least nine days.

The laws also allow doctors and healthcare providers to conscientiously object. Faith-based organisations that run hospitals and aged care homes had argued for stronger rights to object, which would have acted to prevent some residents from accessing VAD.

In the end - after 55 separate amendments were debated and rejected - the laws passed as drafted by the state's independent law reform commission.

The conscience vote largely split along party lines; most Labor MPs were in favour, most from the LNP voted against. Campaigners in favour of VAD laws were pleased with the healthy majority, which they said would discourage future attempts to wind back the scheme.

Debate in parliament was particularly emotional; supporters and opponents each shared personal stories to outline their positions.

Legal experts have said the bill provides effective safeguards and balances the interests of the terminally ill with institutional objections.

The scheme will be operational from January 2023.

Voluntary-assisted dying is already legal in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.
Source: Leader of end-of-life group arrested for assisted suicide

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 15:31

Leader of end-of-life group arrested for assisted suicide

The police arrested the chairman of Coöperatie Laatste Wil in Apeldoorn on Wednesday, on suspicion of involvement in assisted suicide. According to the Public Prosecution Service (OM), the 73-year-old chairman Jos van Wijk is suspected of participating in a criminal organization with the intent to commit or plan assisted suicide. Coöperatie Laatste Wil advocates for self-determination around the deathbed.

Van WIjk's home was searched on Tuesday, according to the OM. Elsewhere in the country, another home was also searched. Van Wijk will be questioned on Wednesday, his lawyer Tim Vis reported.

The investigation was launched in response to a number of recent suicide cases, the OM said. At this stage, the judiciary does not yet want to say how many cases are involved, nor where they occurred. Lawyer Vis also does not know this yet. "We have not yet been informed of the specific reason," said the lawyer.

"The investigation is ongoing," said a spokesperson for the OM. "We do not want to provide more information for that reason."

In July, the police arrested a 28-year-old man from Eindhoven on suspicion of selling "suicide powder" to hundreds of people. He was a member of Coöperatie Laatste Wil. According to the judiciary, at least six people died from the drug provided by the man. The investigation against the man started after the death of a woman in Best, in May this year. It is not yet clear whether the investigation into Van Wijk and that into the Eindhoven resident are related.

Van Wijk "with great emphasis distances himself from the allegation", said Vis. "He deeply regrets the arrest. He would have liked to have explained in a different way. It pains him a lot that the cooperative and thus its 27,500 members are criminalized in this way."

According to Vis, Van Wijk is "fully cooperating" in the investigation. "Transparency is very important to him and to the cooperative, especially towards the Public Prosecution Service." According to the lawyer, the cooperative always operated within the framework of the law.

Coöperatie Laatste Wil was founded in 2013 and wants to make it possible within the law for people to end their own lives in a dignified and safe way.

Reporting by ANP.

Coverage in Dutch:
Voorzitter Coöperatie Laatste Wil opgepakt voor hulp bij zelfdoding
Voorzitter Coöperatie Laatste Wil aangehouden, verdacht van hulp bij zelfdoding
Source (Dutch only): Jos van Wijk, verdacht van hulp bij zelfdoding: ‘We schuren langs de rand, maar houden ons aan de wet’

Interview Assisted suicide
Jos van Wijk, suspected of assisting suicide: 'We skim along the edge, but abide by the law'


Jos van Wijk, president of Coöperatie Laatste Wil, is suspected of involvement in assisted suicide.
Image Bram Petraeus

It is "crazy beyond words" that assisted suicide is forbidden, thinks Jos van Wijk, chairman of Coöperatie Laatste Wil. He himself has always stayed within the limits of the law, he says.

Marten van de Wier
- October 8, 2021, 13:51

It was a strange experience, says Jos van Wijk (73). "I was on vacation on Ameland, and was called by the police: 'We are in your house.'" In his living room in Apeldoorn at that moment fourteen detectives and policemen were roaming around. They took away computers, USB sticks and a safe containing suicide powder.

The following day, last Wednesday, Van Wijk reported to the police. He was questioned, detained for two days and one night. The prosecution [OM] suspects him of participating in a criminal organization, with the aim of committing or conspiring to commit suicide.

Coöperatie Laatste Wil is dedicated to ending life under one's own direction. According to Van Wijk, this is now not possible. The suicide methods that are considered humane are not easy for the elderly to carry out, he says. "And if they get help, it is punishable. Our cooperative wants to change the law by skimming along the edges. But we always work within the boundaries of the law."

That "skimming along the edges" is what the cooperative tried in 2018 with drug X, a suicide powder. Laatste Wil wanted to set up purchasing groups, but gave up when the OM threatened prosecution. Until recently, discussion leaders of the cooperative did share the name of the powder during living room meetings, as well as the details of "about ten" suppliers at home and abroad.

Why did you stop doing these living room meetings?

"People have to order each one for themselves and take what they don't need to the environmental center. We heard that beyond the meetings, participants were still sharing the resource with each other. 'We have each other's number now anyway, you order for all of us.' But whoever does that is punishable."

You previously ended cooperation with four discussion leaders. Why?

"That was about three years ago. From what they said, they didn't agree with our premise of staying within the rules of the law. They were very libertarian about it. But we had no indication that they were distributing the drug themselves."

Are there still conversation leaders with overly libertarian ideas?

"I'm not sure about that. In the near future, we want to talk to our sixty discussion leaders one-on-one, and I want them to sign a statement as well. This should include a declaration that they haven't been dealing, won't either, and don't think it should be allowed."

Do you have any doubts about that now?

"No. But I want to have certainty. It's not doubting, then it looks like I suspect people."

You had a safe at home with drug X, which was confiscated by the police. Did that involve grams, or kilograms?

"That could be a kilo, maybe more. I test suppliers myself for our members. I want to know: if I order in - I'll just name one - Ukraine, will I get it delivered? I want to be able to tell others: these are the possibilities, here you can search on the Internet.

"By the way, I think eventually I will be given the drug back: it is legal. Should it ever be allowed to distribute it, I want to make it available to our members."

Do you feel responsible for the deaths of people from drug X, who might have been helped with psychological care?

"I don't think that happens. Psychiatric patients are in a context of caregivers, of friends, of family. If that system is not able to stop them, they always manage to find a way."

Why doesn't Laatste Wil refer to 113 Suicide Prevention, or to the mental health system?

"That's not up to us. If people have doubts, or want to seek that type of help, they don't come to us. For me, those are two separate worlds: the realm of suicides and the realm of the self-chosen end of life. Three-quarters of our members are over 65. We are concerned with that large group of older people who want to be in control of their end of life."

Does the OM see Laatste Wil as a criminal organization?

The prosecutor is trying to link Jos van Wijk to "a handful" of cases of termination of life spread across the country, in which a drug was supplied and in which Coöperatie Laatste Wil was allegedly involved. At least that is what Van Wijk's lawyer states based on the interrogations. According to him, Van Wijk himself was not involved in those cases.

The Public Prosecutor's Office does not want to respond to this, and only reports that the role of the cooperative is also subject of investigation. Whether Laatste Wil is a criminal organization the Public Prosecutor will not say. In the interest of the investigation, the Public Prosecutor cannot and will not reveal with which others Van Wijk is alleged to have acted, and whether they are active in the cooperative.

There is also a second case ongoing: Eindhoven resident Alex S. was arrested in August. He would have sold suicide powder to hundreds of people. According to the prosecution, S. is a member of Laatste Wil. Van Wijk states that he does not know S. personally, and did not know he was a member. However, S. was indeed one of the suppliers to whom the cooperative referred.

Translated with (free version)
Source (Dutch only): Weer twee leden Coöperatie Laatste Wil aangehouden

NOS News - Domestic - today, 17:58
Two more members of Coöperatie Laatste Wil arrested

In an investigation into assisted suicide, two more members of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil were arrested this week. They are a 72-year-old woman from Amersfoort and a 78-year-old man from Den Bosch, according to the Public Prosecutor's Office. In July, a man (28) from Eindhoven was already arrested.

The woman is suspected of having purchased the potentially lethal drug sodium-azide from the suspect from Eindhoven. In addition, she is suspected of dealing in a drug that reduces vomiting, which may only be issued by doctors and pharmacists.

The man from Den Bosch is also alleged to have purchased drugs from the Eindhoven man. He has been released but remains a suspect; the woman is still in custody.


The Coöperatie Laatste Wil advocates for self-determination around the deathbed and was founded to provide "last resort" services to members. Assisting in suicide is a punishable offense.

The chairman of CLW, Jos van Wijk, was arrested last month. He is suspected of participating in a criminal organization that has assisted suicide as an objective.

The suspect from Eindhoven will appear in court on Wednesday. According to the prosecutor, the investigation is still in progress; the administration of the suspects is under examination to see to whom the drugs were provided and whether the drugs led to suicides.

Translated with (free version)
Source: Psychologist assisted more than 100 people with committing suicide

Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 14:55

Psychologist assisted more than 100 people with committing suicide

The Brabant psychologist Wim van Dijk gave more than 100 people a drug to help them commit suicide, the psychologist himself said in an interview with the Volkskrant on Saturday [behind paywall]. The medication the psychologist gave to patients was called Drug X.

According to the newspaper, it was the first time anyone in the Netherlands admitted to providing people with a drug to commit suicide.

Drug X is a white preservative in powdered form available in the Netherlands in chemical wholesale stores.

The Ministry of Justice has prohibited the Cooperative Last Will (CLW) from providing the drug to its members. The CLW is an advocate for euthanasia. Despite the ban, the drug is now illegally distributed.

Van Dijk reported to the Eindhoven [police] office on Tuesday at the request of the police. He was arrested for the violation of the Medicines Act and for assisted suicide.

Although he invoked his right to remain silent during the investigation, he later told his story to the Volkskrant, hoping that the debate around the euthanasia law is ignited again.

"I am aware of the consequences of my story. I don't care," Van Dijk told the Volkskrant. "I want social unrest around this topic to become so great that the judiciary cannot ignore it. I don't care if they arrest me or put me in jail. I want something to happen."

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) announced earlier this week that a 78-year-old man from Den Bosch was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the case. The suspect has since been released. His exact role is still being investigated, according to the OM.

Reporting by ANP.

In Dutch: Man hielp honderd mensen aan zelfdodingspoeder, wil discussie aanzwengelen
Source (Dutch only): Wat drijft Wim van Dijk, verstrekker van het dodelijke poeder ‘middel X’?

Profile Psychologist Wim van Dijk
What drives Wim van Dijk, dispenser of the deadly powder 'drug X'?


Wim van Dijk - Image ANP, Marcel van den Bergh

For the first time, a provider of the deadly "drug X" made himself known. Who is this Wim van Dijk and what drives him?

Rianne Oosterom - 25 October 2021, 14:26

'I am a provider.' These were not just words uttered by psychologist Wim van Dijk (77) from Den Bosch this weekend in the Volkskrant. He confessed to reselling the deadly drug X to 'more than a hundred' people who wanted to commit suicide with it, a trade that remained completely underground until now.

Van Dijk is one of the two members of Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) who were arrested last week. He was quickly released and his role is still under investigation, according to the prosecution, but is related to the case of Eindhoven resident Alex S., who traded the drug.

Although he invoked his right to remain silent, Van Dijk told the Volkskrant that he bought the drug from Alex S. for 30 euros and sold it for 50 euros per portion to the people who came to him for help. He hopes to achieve more through this publicity stunt than by cooperating with the police investigation.

What motivates this native of Den Bosch to tell his story, regardless of the legal consequences? The short answer: he is a man with a mission. This is already clear in a video he recorded a year ago, sitting behind the computer in his somewhat cluttered living room, full of books.

Civil disobedience

In the video, Alternative Route Euthanasia 1, only viewed about two hundred times, Van Dijk explains how he envisions it. He has given it a lot of thought and proposes an 'easier' route, in which the person who wants to die remains in control, but is assisted by a death counselor.

He brooded on these ideas for a long time and worked them out fully before founding his new political party, The New Democracy. It was not a success. In the meantime, he was already putting his own ideals into practice: he provided the drug X to people who knocked on his door.

Video 3:36 min.
Dutch spoken; English subtitles available through automatic translation.

In a recently added paragraph on his party's website about the provision of the drug, he calls the current euthanasia law immoral because, he says, doctors are unable to determine unbearable suffering. "I see only one option: civil disobedience, as with boss in your own belly, quickly leading to abortion legislation."

The Dying of Tineke

The seed of his struggle lies in the terrible death of his wife Tineke. During a TV appearance on SBS6 in 2020, he termed the period of four days and nights that Tineke's agony lasted an unmitigated hell. She was slowly drying out.

Tineke had Alzheimer's. What she herself did not want, happened anyway: in spite of her signed euthanasia declaration, she ended up in a nursing home. When she broke her hip and Van Dijk decided not to have her operated on, a painful death followed. The doctors could not remedy her suffering at once; that would be illegal, Van Dijk said.


Wim van Dijk with medallion with photo of his deceased wife - Image ANP, Marcel van den Bergh

So there was nothing else left for him but to sit by her bedside, all those endless hours. Not a day goes by, he later wrote on the Facebook page of The New Democracy, that he does not think about it.

Nobody knew where to buy drug X

After his wife's death, Van Dijk became a member of the CLW, a club that fights for a controlled end to life and full availability of drug X. Logically, there was a great need for this drug in the discussion groups of the cooperative. He decided to pick up that gauntlet.

This is how he came into contact with Alex S., also a member. Because he stated that he resold the drug for 50 euros, i.e. with a margin of 20 euros, he must have earned around 2000 euros. Van Dijk did not just hand out the drug, but assessed the people who wanted to buy it from him during a discussion at his home.

'Unwise but courageous'

This approach is contrary to the position of the CLW, which wants the drug to be available to everyone without restrictions. Chairman Jos van Wijk, also arrested late last month, calls Van Dijk "unwise but courageous." "He has been very consciously engaged in criminal activity. But he has helped many others with it."

According to Van Wijk, this shows how much need there is for the suicide powder, and that its availability should be regulated by law. The attitude of the judiciary seems different: instead of ideals, they see excesses that must be acted against.

Van Dijk calls the prosecution a witch hunt. He wants to fight through to the Supreme Court for an acquittal and has started a crowdfunding campaign for this purpose this weekend. Meanwhile he has raised 7500 euros. To the Volkskrant he told that he does it for Tineke. "I want to honor her by handling it in this manner."

Translated with (free version)

Related (in Dutch):
Wim van Dijk treedt naar buiten: hij verkocht zelfdodingspoeder aan meer dan honderd mensen
Source (in Dutch): OM: Zeker vijftien mensen overleden na aankoop middel X bij Alex S.

Trial Helian
Prosecutor: At least fifteen people died after purchasing drug X from Alex S.


Court drawing of Alex S. during the pro-forma hearing. The 28-year-old Eindhoven native is suspected
of selling powders with which you can commit suicide without a license
- Image ANP

At least 15 people are said to have died immediately after taking drug X, after buying the suicide powder from Alex S., a 28 year old man from Eindhoven.

Marten van de Wier
- 27 October 2021, 10:58 AM

This was stated by the Public Prosecutor Wednesday morning in the pro forma hearing against the Eindhoven native. Earlier the Public Prosecutor had mentioned six cases of suicide that could be linked to S.. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has investigated the death of 33 people who were clients of S. In 15 cases their death was directly related to the use of drug X. It involved people between 41 and 82 years.

The court ruled that S. can await the continuation of his trial in freedom for the time being. The judge attached the condition that he returns to his assisted living, accepts counseling and resumes his mental health treatment.

S. would have earned over 55,000 euros

According to the prosecutor, S. would have earned over 55,000 euros by selling drug X and an anti-vomiting drug, which he often sold in combination with the suicide powder. S. would have recently charged 30 euros for the suicide drug, and 15 for the anti-smoking drug.

According to the prosecution, S. provided the drug from the beginning of 2018 until his arrest in July this year. Exactly how many times S. would have supplied it is not known; the prosecution puts it at hundreds of times. The Justice Department found 694 payments to S. allegedly related to drug X and the anti-vomiting drug. The prosecution suspects him of assisted suicide, violation of the Medicines Act and laundering the money he earned.

S. wants to be able to take the drug himself

The prosecutor tracked down S. during the investigation into a suicide in Best. The police also spoke to a witness who survived the ingestion of the drug, possibly because he took a smaller dose. The man ended up in intensive care and stated, according to the prosecutor, that he "did not want to die" and was glad he survived.

S. explained that he himself has struggled a lot with suicidal thoughts. S. has an autism spectrum disorder and suffers from morbid obesity. He says he is on the verge of becoming bedridden because of that condition. He believes that drug X should be freely available, and wants to be able to take it himself should he become bedridden.

At the time of his arrest S. was in a trajectory for a stomach reduction. He wants to resume this after his provisional release.

No contact with Coöperatie Laatste Wil

In the Helian case, as the prosecution has nicknamed it, Wim van Dijk is also a suspect. He appeared in the media and says he ordered the drug from S. and resold it over a hundred times. The third suspect in the case is Tineke B., a friend of S. whom he describes as a "soul mate'. The three are members of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil, which has been advocating self-determination at the end of life since 2013.

S. promised Wednesday that he will not deal in drug X again after his provisional release. The probation service will follow him. His bank account will also be monitored. To prevent recurrence, S. may not have contact with his co-defendants, and not with board members and coordinators of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil, the court decided.

Translated with (free version)

Other coverage:

In English (much shorter):
Suicide powder seller may have had a role in 33 deaths, public prosecutor says -
33 deaths investigated in suicide powder case

In Dutch:
Mogelijk 33 mensen dood door zelfdodingspoeder
Alex S. vindt dat iedereen zelf mag beslissen over zijn leven
Source: Psychiatric patients 'suffering' from long waiting times for euthanasia -

Psychiatric patients ‘suffering’ from long waiting times for euthanasia

October 28, 2021

Psychiatric patients are suffering needlessly and taking their own lives because of the long waiting times to be assessed for euthanasia.

Specialist clinic Expertise-centrum Euthanasie, formerly known as the Levenseindekliniek, said people with psychiatric illnesses had to wait for two years on average to have their request to die assessed.

Political party GroenLinks has called for the center to be given €750,000 in funding to help it cut its waiting list.

‘It’s not right that if people are suffering unbearably and have no prospect of improvement, have to hang on for two years before they can proceed with euthanasia,’ said MP Corinne Ellemeet.

Spokesman Ronald Stael said the facility in The Hague had received 3,300 requests (in Dutch) for euthanasia since the start of this year, up from 2,900 in 2020. The clinic was set up to cater for patients whose family doctors refuse to handle their request to die.

‘We don’t have enough psychiatrists to process all these requests,’ he said. ‘The waiting time for a psychiatrist at the expertise center to consider a euthanasia request has increased to two years.’

Under Dutch law euthanasia can only be granted at the request of the patient, if a physician agrees that they are suffering intolerably with no prospect of relief. Around two-thirds of the 7,000 people who die via euthanasia each year are cancer patients.

Doctors are not obliged to consider a request for euthanasia. Expertise-centrum Euthanasie said around a quarter of its referrals were from people with psychiatric illnesses. In nine out of 10 cases the patient changes their mind and accepts further treatment or withdraws their request altogether.
Source: Colombian Judge Orders That Non-Terminally Ill Woman Must be Permitted Euthanasia

Colombian Judge Orders That Non-Terminally Ill Woman Must be Permitted Euthanasia

ALS has rendered Sepúlveda unable to move her legs, but it is not a terminal condition.

Aci Prensa/CNA - World - October 29, 2021

A Colombian judge ordered Wednesday that euthanasia procedures be resumed for Martha Liria Sepúlveda Campo, a 51-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, after they were suspended earlier this month by an oversight body.

Judge Omar Vásquez Cuartas of the 20th Civil Circuit Court of Medellín made his ruling Oct. 27, saying the Colombian Pain Institute (IPS Incodol) must determine with Sepúlveda within 48 hours a day and time to carry out her euthanization.

Vásquez ruled that Incodol violated Sepúlveda’s “fundamental rights to die with dignity, to a decent life, to the free development of the personality and human dignity.”

The judge said, “it is recognized that she complies with the requirements to exercise her right to die with dignity by euthanasia as established by the judicial precedent.”

ALS has rendered Sepúlveda unable to move her legs, but it is not a terminal condition.

Colombia’s constitutional court ruled in July that non-terminally ill persons may be euthanized, provided they are undergoing intense suffering due to a serious and incurable illness or bodily injury. The euthanization of a non-terminally ill person has not yet taken place in the country.

Sepúlveda was to have been euthanized Oct. 10. She had requested euthanization within days of the court’s ruling, and the Interdisciplinary Scientific Committee approved the request Aug. 6.

But IPS Incodol reported Oct. 9 that the Interdisciplinary Scientific Committee for the Right to Die with Dignity “unanimously concluded to cancel the procedure.”

Incodol explained that at an Oct. 8 meeting Sepúlveda’s request “was reviewed and analyzed again in a comprehensive and sufficient manner“ and the decision was reached ”to cancel the procedure."

The committee explained that “the cancellation decision is based on No. 26.6 of Article 26 of Resolution 971 of 2021 of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, which assigns the Committee within its functions to review the application process and the complete euthanasia procedure, in order to determine any situation that affects it being carried out.”

“By having an updated concept of the patient's health and condition going forward, it is determined that the termination criterion is not met as the first committee had considered."

CaracolTV broadcast a report Oct. 3 in which the woman said she was “peaceful” about her decision to be euthanized and that she is "a Catholic person, I consider myself a very much a believer in God, but, I repeat, God does not want to see me suffer and I believe no one to suffer. No father wants to see his children suffer.”

Bishop Francisco Ceballos of Riohacha, who is also the president of the Commission for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of the Colombian Bishop’s Conference, posted on Oct. 6 a video message addressed to the woman, asking her to desist from her decision.

“As a pastor of the Catholic Church, with much respect and much affection, I want to show my sister Martha that she is not alone, that the God of life is always with us. That her affliction can find a transcendent meaning if it becomes a call to the Love that heals, to the Love that renews, to the Love that forgives,” the bishop said.

“Martha, I invite you to calmly reflect on your decision,” he encouraged, “hopefully, if circumstances allow it, away from harassment by the media that have not hesitated to take your pain and that of your family and use it as a kind of propaganda for euthanasia, in a country deeply marked by violence.”
The Colombian prelate encouraged the faithful to pray a lot for Sepúlveda and her family, to reconsider her decision.

“To surround her in her reflection, I affectionately invite all Catholics to join in prayer for our sister Martha, for her son, for her relatives and for the professionals who are advising her, so that the God of Life, who is Supreme Love, would fill her with his mercy,” the bishop urged.

In his message, the Bishop of Riohacha explained that “in accordance with our deepest Christian convictions, death cannot be the therapeutic answer to pain and suffering in any case.”

“Death caused by assisted suicide or euthanasia is not compatible with our interpretation of the dignity of human life, whereas the use of palliative care is,” he stressed.
Spokesman Ronald Stael said the facility in The Hague had received 3,300 requests (in Dutch) for euthanasia since the start of this year, up from 2,900 in 2020. The clinic was set up to cater for patients whose family doctors refuse to handle their request to die.
This quote from DutchNews is rather telling. Basically, it means that more and more people in Holland do not see a way out plus the media and the government are trying by means of this article to normalise euthanasia for psychiatric patients. It definitely is a sign of the times and it is chilling.

The same goes for that Colombian judge ruling that a non-terminally ill woman is now allowed euthanasia. Thank you @Palinurus for posting that article.

I really like the Bishop's reply to the ruling and I will copy the quote here again, for I could never have said it better:
Bishop Francisco Ceballos of Riohacha, who is also the president of the Commission for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of the Colombian Bishop’s Conference, posted on Oct. 6 a video message addressed to the woman, asking her to desist from her decision.

“As a pastor of the Catholic Church, with much respect and much affection, I want to show my sister Martha that she is not alone, that the God of life is always with us. That her affliction can find a transcendent meaning if it becomes a call to the Love that heals, to the Love that renews, to the Love that forgives,” the bishop said.
“Martha, I invite you to calmly reflect on your decision,” he encouraged, “hopefully, if circumstances allow it, away from harassment by the media that have not hesitated to take your pain and that of your family and use it as a kind of propaganda for euthanasia, in a country deeply marked by violence.”
The Colombian prelate encouraged the faithful to pray a lot for Sepúlveda and her family, to reconsider her decision.

“To surround her in her reflection, I affectionately invite all Catholics to join in prayer for our sister Martha, for her son, for her relatives and for the professionals who are advising her, so that the God of Life, who is Supreme Love, would fill her with his mercy,” the bishop urged.

In his message, the Bishop of Riohacha explained that “in accordance with our deepest Christian convictions, death cannot be the therapeutic answer to pain and suffering in any case.”
“Death caused by assisted suicide or euthanasia is not compatible with our interpretation of the dignity of human life, whereas the use of palliative care is
,” he stressed.
Thank you for your contribution, @Mariama. :cool2:

Source (Dutch only): ‘Wanhoop en paniek’ bij middel X

'Desperation and panic' with drug X
Suicidal drug According to those who recommend 'drug X', it leads to a humane death. Next of kin and the Poison Information Center see something different. "He had panic in his eyes."

Kim Bos - November 1, 2021 at 19:54

"You sit on a chair, take it and just drift off." That, according to his relatives, was what he had been told about the suicide drug he had purchased. But that's not how it went down.

The sixty-year-old from Friesland, who has since died, took, over a year ago, "drug X," in the presence of his wife and his brother, and they saw what happened. They saw, it was recorded in a report NRC was allowed to read and which the relatives confirm, "the desperation and panic" in his eyes. "Help me, help me," they heard him cry out.

He was gasping and took off his shirt because he became very hot. The man was screaming and yelling, trying to get up and asking for a knife with which he wanted to "end all misery." The brother present called the emergency number after consulting with the family doctor. Ambulance staff applied an infusion and asked the man if he wanted to be helped in the hospital. According to the report, no clear answer came. "No one can help me," was all he said.

Then the man suffered an epileptic seizure that lasted about 15 minutes. He had twitches in his arms and legs and foam on his mouth.

He took drug X at 3:40 p.m. and died 4:53 p.m., 73 minutes later. He had been depressed for some time and had a death wish for some time, but did not want to wait for the uncertain euthanasia procedure.

Was this the peaceful death he had envisioned when he had ordered "drug X" a few weeks earlier? His relatives think not.


The Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating at least four people who are suspected of having provided a suicide drug to hundreds of people, while assisting suicide is punishable by law. Last week Alex S. (28) was in court; according to the prosecution he would have sold the drug to at least 33 people who subsequently died. In court, S., who struggles with depression, said he wanted to help people have a "humane" end of life.

That is also the motivation of Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) and chairman Jos van Wijk, who is also a suspect in a prosecution investigation. According to the relatives of the Frisian who died last year of drug X, he was advised by someone from CLW, which aims to make resources available so that people can end their lives in "a dignified way".

The NVIC (National Poisoning Information Center) of the UMC Utrecht, just like the relatives of the Frisian, observes something else. "From poisoning symptoms we have noted, it appears that death does not always occur quickly and peacefully," says toxicologist Antoinette van Riel.

Since the NVIC began recording in 2014, 22 suicide attempts have been reported with drug X, a chemical on sale at some wholesalers; eighteen attempts were fatal. Of the deceased patients, nine were found when they were already deceased, the remaining nine individuals died "several hours to a maximum of nineteen hours after ingestion from the effects of the poisoning."

The patients became seriously ill before death, NVIC records show: "Symptoms were mainly vomiting, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sweating, confusion, lowered blood pressure and heart problems."

There were 31 suicide attempts reported during the same period with another drug that some people confuse with what CLW says is "drug X," says Van Riel. Of those, 7 attempts were fatal. Of the patients who died, 3 were found deceased, the other 4 persons died a few hours to a maximum of two days after ingestion.

Nowhere is it tracked exactly how many people take drug X and in what way they die. "There is no reporting obligation and there is no conclusive registration," says Van Riel. "What we register is the tip of the iceberg." The NVIC receives reports from healthcare workers, such as general practitioners and people who work in the emergency room. "Those reports are not about elderly people with a completed life, but about people who have made an impulsive decision; an act of desperation," he says.

"I can't warn enough about drug X," wrote Boudewijn Chabot (in Dutch), who received his PhD on research into how people can die with dignity under their own direction, in an opinion piece in NRC last weekend. In that story, he cites several examples of people who did not die with dignity even though they had taken drug X, or were convinced they had. One comment he makes is that in many cases we cannot know how someone died, because often there is no one there to tell the story.

Because assisted suicide is punishable by law, loved ones do not always dare to be present at the death process, Van Wijk also observes. He thinks - "but that is speculation" - that people who die in a nasty way have taken the wrong medicine. "People have to guesstimate: do I have the right stuff in hand, does it do what it's supposed to do? You would like it to be so much more transparent."

CLW acknowledges that dying with drug X is "no fun." "Dying is not something romantic," says van Wijk. "People rattle and gurgle. They have a struggle with it. It's not an American movie."

CLW also doesn't keep conclusive records of deaths. Van Wijk says they have received about thirty reports from bereaved families who are satisfied with their loved one's death process. "There is little information about the effect and side effect of drug X in people who have taken it to end their lives. The taboo and legal barriers make it difficult to do good research on this."

Translated with (free version)
Source: Assisted dying now legal in New Zealand, End of Life Choice Act a 'huge relief' for some (five illustrations and two videos omitted)

Assisted dying now legal in New Zealand, End of Life Choice Act a 'huge relief' for some

Hannah Martin - 05:00, Nov 07 2021

Stuart Armstrong has given a lot of thought to the end of his life. Now, reassured with the knowledge he may one day be able to access assisted dying when it all “goes south”, he can focus on living.

Last October, two-thirds of New Zealanders voted yes (65.1 per cent) in a referendum to enable the End of Life Choice Act to be passed into law. On November 7 the legislation comes into force, enabling eligible terminally ill Kiwis to choose to end their lives.

The 61-year-old from Lincoln, outside Christchurch, has terminal prostate cancer. The disease has spread to his skeleton, and is incurable.

A vocal campaigner for the act, Armstrong is not eligible to access voluntary assisted dying at present, but says having the option when the time comes is a “huge relief”.

Sunday marks a monumental shift for New Zealand, and puts us among a small but growing number of places to have passed similar laws.
It is not yet clear how many Kiwis may seek assisted dying, but the number is expected to be small.

To be eligible, a person must have a terminal illness likely to end their life within six months. They must have significant and ongoing decline in physical capability, and experience unbearable suffering that cannot be eased in a manner they find tolerable.

For Armstrong, it means he can “park” concerns about dying and get on with living – getting “the most out of the days you’ve got” – knowing assisted dying is there to “fall back on” if he so chooses.

“I live so much better day-to-day since the [referendum] result, because I know it is all taken care of.”

Armstrong said it was unusual for younger people to live a decade after a terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. He is seven years in, and recent test results show treatment is holding the disease at bay.

“As sad a time as it is, [it] is so much easier with that choice,” he said.

It is “life-changing in terms of how you live your last few years. I’m certainly living it that way now”.

Even with a majority vote, assisted dying remains an emotive and polarising issue.

Those opposed say euthanasia weakens society’s respect for the value and importance of human life and can lead to worse care for the vulnerable, including those with disabilities and the terminally ill. Those in support of assisted dying say it is a person's right to choose when and how they die, and euthanasia affords them the right to die with dignity.

Based on overseas experiences, the Ministry of Health estimates up to 950 people could apply for assisted dying each year, with up to 350 being assisted to die. But there is uncertainty about what the actual demand will be.

In Victoria, Oregon, and Canada, assisted dying accounts for between 0.3 and 2 per cent of all deaths; with 124 confirmed assisted deaths in the first 12 months Victoria offered the service.

As of October 27, 96 doctors across the country have expressed interest in being included on the Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand (SCENZ) group list to act as an attending medical practitioner in the assisted dying process.

Eight nurse practitioners have put their hand up to be on the list; 13 psychiatrists have expressed their interest to perform assessments if requested; and 93 have expressed interest in independent practitioner second assessments.

The lists are enduring, and the numbers will likely change over time.

The ministry expects assisted dying services will be provided mainly by general practitioners, in a person's home or other community settings. What impact this will have on an already stretched health workforce is unknown.

More than 6000 health professionals have completed the training module available to health workers, and 129 medical and nurse practitioners have accessed training.

Sixty-four per cent of practicers happy to be involved are in the North Island, and 36 per cent in the South Island.

The ministry said there was “good spread” across the country, but not every location may have a one available. Practitioners who need to travel will be funded to do so.

The assisted dying conversation also shone a light on the underfunding and inequity of palliative care in New Zealand.

In the lead-up to the referendum, close to 1600 doctors signed an open letter opposing assisted dying; arguing proper palliative care makes euthanasia unnecessary. The move to fully fund assisted dying but not palliative care has also come under recent criticism.

Dr Jessica Young, a postdoctoral research fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, said assisted dying was another tool in the toolbox at the end of a person’s life, not a replacement for palliative care.

The relationship between palliative care and assisted dying will likely be “tricky”. Hospice New Zealand will not support assisted dying services, but individual hospices may take a different position.

Many have both – 2016 data from jurisdictions with assisted dying suggest between 74-87 per cent of those who accessed assisted dying were receiving hospice or palliative care services as well – while others may not want it.

Young acknowledged palliative care funding was limited: “Everyone would advocate for more funding [for palliative care], that’s not up for debate here.”

Palliative care services are “amazing” – but the conversation is also about allowing people to choose what care is and isn't right for them, she said.

Young, a member of Yes for Compassion, said it was too soon to guess who might not benefit from the legislation – but noted there were potential barriers to access.

Gravely unwell people need to know the legislation exists, where to find it, and how to make sense of it. They need to broach the topic with a doctor and then navigate the service.

Data from Oregon suggests those who access assisted dying are often white and educated, despite research signalling support across most ethnicities, age groups and the political divide.

Work has been done to make the service is equitable, including incorporating Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations to ensure it is culturally safe for Māori.

Young said both her PhD research and overseas experience showed assisted dying was an “option of last resort”.

If people are dying “well” and to plan – insofar as one can – they don’t need assisted dying. But they want the option as a “backstop” if their suffering cannot be relieved, she said.

In Oregon, about 25 per cent of those who go through the process don't take the medication: “the choice in and of itself is empowering”, Young said.

Royal New Zealand College of GPs president Dr Samantha Murton said the number of people who fit the criteria for assisted dying were “quite low”.

In her own practice, she could think of just one patient in the past five years who would be eligible – whether they'd want to access assisted dying was another thing all together.

As a result, the number of GPs who will be approached about assisted dying would also likely be “probably quite low”. Patients across the motu would likely be referred to a handful of practitioners, she assumed.

The college has not polled members to see who is willing to be involved and who will object – but their membership will largely reflect the difference of opinion across the wider population, Murton said.

However, all doctors need to be able to understand the act and their responsibility whether they want to be involved or not.

Murton said the sector was comfortable there was no “knowledge vacuum”, and training had been rolled out “relatively seamlessly”, despite Covid-19 impacts.

Holly Hedley, Buddle Findlay senior associate said while the act in its entirety was new, from a legal perspective a lot of it wasn't.

How it is determined who is competent to make the choice is something clinicians have long been dealing with. The notions of making choices about what is in someone’s best interests, and determining who is vulnerable to coercion is also not new – that’s “everyday bread-and-butter stuff” for GPs and oncologists.

“But of course, it’s bigger, because it’s life and death.”

Hedley said if people were looking for certainty, they weren’t going to find it yet and much will be made on case-by-case judgement calls.

“Figuring some of that out practically will be testing,” she said.

But Young believed the End of Life Choice Act would open up the conversation about dying, and that was something people shouldn’t be afraid to do.

“We have to remember people who are eligible are already dying, this is just the way that they die – not the fact they will die.”

* Assisted dying: Doctors to be paid $1087 to perform procedure, starting next month
* More scrutiny needed as assisted dying becomes law
* 'Limits' to palliative care part of case for assisted dying option

Other coverage:
Assisted dying to be legal in New Zealand from November
New Zealand legalises assisted dying for the terminally ill
New Zealand Voluntary Euthanasia Law Comes into Effect
End of Life Choice Act takes effect in New Zealand
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