Source (Dutch only): Italië staat voor het eerst hulp bij zelfdoding toe: ‘Ik voel me bevrijd’

Euthanasia debate
Italy allows assisted suicide for the first time: 'I feel liberated'

For the first time, a paralyzed man is officially allowed to receive help to die in Italy. A breakthrough in the euthanasia debate.

Pauline Valkenet - November 23, 2021, 18:56

Activists pushing for a euthanasia law in Italy are elated. Because for the first time, a man who asked for assistance in his suicide has been officially authorized to do so.

The main character in this Italian story is a former truck driver of 43 from the city of Pesaro, in the region of The Marches. He has been paralyzed from his shoulders to his feet since a car accident ten years ago. On Tuesday it was announced that he has been given the green light by the Health Service of The Marches to end his life under the supervision of a doctor.

This is big news in Italy: the daily La Repubblica writes about "a historic page that is turned towards the freedom to choose one's own end of life in this country."

The man from Pesaro wants to remain anonymous - to keep his family out of a media storm - and is therefore called 'Mario'. His mother takes care of him. To be able to end his life, he asked for the help of a national association; that association, called Luca Coscioni, is fighting for the legal introduction of euthanasia. In Italy, a doctor is punishable when she or he enables someone to die.

Constitutional Court sets conditions

Assisted suicide - where a person takes a lethal drug himself - has been allowed in some cases since 2019 following a ruling by the Constitutional Court. That ruling dealt with assisted suicide for the paralyzed Fabio Antoniani, better known as DJ Fabo, who was driven to Switzerland to die in 2017. From that verdict flowed a number of conditions under which assisted suicide is permitted.

Those conditions have now been invoked by Mario. With the help of the Luca Coscioni association, over a year ago he asked the health authority of The Marches to help him end his life. The public authority refused, whereupon Mario went to the court in Ancona, which ordered the health authority to determine whether the conditions had been met.

'Freed from all tension'

So yes, it has now been revealed: Mario is suffering (among other things) psychologically and physically unbearably, his condition is irreversible and he is capable of making this decision independently and of his own free will. According to news agency Ansa, Mario is relieved: "I feel lighter. I feel liberated from all the tension that has built up these years. I am tired. And no one can tell me that things are not bad enough for me to end it."

On Radio 24, Marco Cappato, treasurer of association Luca Coscioni, told Tuesday that Mario is not there yet: the health service in The Marches must now determine what drug he will receive and how he will be able to take it. Asked by the presenter how many Italians would like to request euthanasia or assisted suicide, Cappato replied, "Many thousands, and maybe more. No one knows, because euthanasia is now only committed illegally here."

Hardly any public debate

There is hardly any public debate in Italy about the possibility of euthanasia or assisted suicide. The parliament - which includes quite a few Catholics - is not taking action. The Vatican on Tuesday called the authorization "an ethical defeat for everyone.

But meanwhile, more and more Italians are in favor of a legal framework for euthanasia. In 2019, a poll showed 92 percent of voters saying "yes" or "yes, depends on the circumstances" to it. The association supporting Mario recently collected over a million signatures to force a referendum on the issue.

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Similar coverage in Dutch: Voor het eerst krijgt iemand hulp bij zelfdoding in Italië
UPDATE on posts #183, #186, #188, #210, #211, and #221.

Source (Dutch only): Artsenfederatie verruimt standpunt euthanasie bij vergevorderde dementie

NOS News - Domestic - today, 20:50
Doctors' federation broadens position on euthanasia in advanced dementia

Doctors' organization KNMG has adjusted its own position on euthanasia in dementia. That adjusted position gives doctors tools to consider euthanasia "in complex situations," such as in the case of incapacitated people with advanced dementia.

This is a broadening of the previous position, in which the KNMG advised doctors not to proceed with euthanasia if no communication is possible with the patient. That position was tightened in 2012, after two cases in which the review committee had ruled that doctors had acted carelessly.

The fact that the position has now been adjusted is partly due to a ruling by the Supreme Court in April last year. In it, the Supreme Court ruled that a doctor who had ended the life of a severely demented patient was not liable to punishment. The woman was no longer able to confirm a previous written request for euthanasia.

Written request for euthanasia

According to the KNMG, the new position is intended to provide guidance to physicians so that they can, together with patients and next of kin, "weigh things up responsibly and come to a decision." The KNMG emphasizes that in the case of euthanasia of legally incapacitated people with advanced dementia, there must always be a written request for euthanasia, drawn up by the patient when he or she was still competent.

It is also about "exceptional situations" in which there must be unbearable suffering. Furthermore, there must be no so-called contraindications, whereby the patient clearly indicates that he or she no longer wants euthanasia. If there is doubt surrounding any of these, the doctor must refrain from euthanasia, according to the KNMG.

The federation writes in an explanation that for the change many discussions were held with doctors, representatives of patients, relatives and that "medical and social views" were also listened to.

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Recent developments in Portugal and Austria.

Source: Portugal's president vetoes law legalising euthanasia

Portugal's president vetoes law legalizing euthanasia

By Euronews with AP, AFP • Updated: 30/11/2021

Portugal’s president has refused to sign a second draft bill legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said the wording of the proposed law was too imprecise and vetoed the law.

President Rebelo de Sousa - a staunch Catholic - had previously expressed reservations about the first draft bill to legalese euthanasia.

The legislation has now been effectively shelved until a new Portuguese parliament is chosen in January's election.

Portugal has for years been debating euthanasia when a doctor directly administers fatal drugs to a patient.

Left-wing MPs have also called on parliament to allow medically assisted suicide, where patients administer lethal drugs themselves under medical supervision.

Earlier this year, de Sousa referred the first reading of legislation on the subject to the country's constitutional court. The court rejected the proposed bill, stating the law lacked "indispensable rigor".

After a second vote, MPs approved a rewritten version of the law, but de Sousa has now sent the law back to Portugal's parliament.

The President argued that the law needed to better clarify "contradictions" to what justifies medically assisted suicide in cases of "fatal", "incurable" or "serious" illnesses.

Without the need for patients to be terminally ill changes Portugal's "values of life and free self-determination," he said in a statement.

Rebelo de Sousa has remained popular for more than five years as head of the Portuguese state.

The mostly Catholic country previously passed laws allowing abortion in 2007 and same-sex marriage in 2010.

In Europe, only Spain and the Benelux countries - Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg - have legalized euthanasia.

Portugal's constitutional court blocks law decriminalising euthanasia
Portugal’s parliament votes to legalize euthanasia, again

Source: Austria's parliament legalizes assisted suicide | DW | 16.12.2021

Date 16.12.2021

Austria's parliament legalizes assisted suicide

Austrian lawmakers have approved a law that legalizes assisted suicide for seriously ill people, subject to tight rules. A law banning the practice was set to expire, which would have left the matter unregulated.

The Austrian parliament on Thursday voted to legalize assisted suicide from January after a court ruling said its ban breached fundamental human rights.

The ban would have expired at the end of this year anyway, and the new legislation means it can only take place in accordance with strict criteria.

What conditions must be met?

The Assisted Suicide Act gives the option of an advance directive — similar to a living will — only to people over 18 who are terminally ill or suffer from a permanent, debilitating condition.

Each case is to be assessed by two doctors, one of whom would have to be an expert in palliative medicine. As part of their duties, they must determine whether a patient is opting for euthanasia independently.

At least 12 weeks must pass before a patient is granted access to the procedure, to ensure that euthanasia is not being sought due to a temporary crisis. However, for patients in the "terminal phase" of an illness, the period can be shortened to two weeks.

The individual would then draw up their will with a notary or a patient advocate before being able to obtain a lethal drug from a pharmacist.

Why is this happening now?

The new regulation became necessary after Austria's Constitutional Court lifted the ban on assisted suicide. Judges said the prohibition violated the individual's right to self-determination.

Had it not been passed, euthanasia would no longer have been banned from the end of this year and the practice would effectively have become unregulated.

Austria's governing conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) partnered Greens supported the law in the National Council, along with the opposition Social Democrats and the liberal Neos party. The only disagreement came from the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

Strengthening the alternatives

Justice Minister Alma Zadic of the Greens said that, alongside the legislation, measures would be taken to offer alternatives to suicide.

Part of this was a planned law to expand hospice and palliative care, while the Austrian government is also making more money available for suicide prevention initiatives.

Elsewhere in Europe, assisted suicide has been decriminalized in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain. It is more of a legal gray area in countries like France and Germany, where it has been legalized by court ruling but is not legislated for or regulated.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa last month refused to sign a parliament-sanctioned bill allowing euthanasia, effectively shelving the legislation there until next year.

Meanwhile, critics have described the procedure in Switzerland — one of only a handful of countries in the world that allows assisted suicide for non-resident foreigners — as a form of "suicide tourism."

rc/fb (AFP, dpa)

Similar coverage:
Austria to allow tightly limited right to assisted suicide
Austria to allow assisted suicide for seriously ill people, subject to tight rules
Austria to allow tightly limited right to assisted suicide
Source (Dutch only): Stervenshulp, of was het moord?

Assisted dying, or was it murder?
Editorial Domestic
- January 6, 2022 16:12

GP George W. -says the prosecution- took the life of his 76-year-old soon-to-be mother-in-law in 2016 by giving her medication that led to her death. It was murder, the prosecution says. The family doctor denies that. He wanted to put the demented terminal woman out of her misery, a spokesman for the GP summarized his position Wednesday.

The trial against 61-year-old Maastricht general practitioner George W., which started Wednesday in Roermond, revolves around palliative sedation. This involves pain management for a terminal patient, resulting in death. According to the prosecution (OM), the GP gave her medication that is actually meant for a terminal patient. However, the woman was not terminal, according to the prosecution. The doctor also allegedly falsely drew up the medical certificate of her death.

According to the general practitioner, the woman was terminal. As a result of the suspicion by the OM, the man has been living in a nightmare for years, his lawyer Bart Welvaart said Wednesday.

At the time of her death, the woman had been staying at the private clinic for demented elderly people Martha Flora in Maastricht for several months. George W. was a general practitioner there. The court has set aside a large number of session days to hear witnesses and experts, who must answer this question, among others: was the woman terminal, and was the medical intervention by the family doctor justified?

A witness who had been summoned for Wednesday did not show up. The witness in question was a former employee of Martha Flora. She signaled the Health Care Inspectorate in 2017 that something would not be right around the woman's death. The court wanted to hear this woman on Wednesday. She is still due to testify on January 11.

The court did hear the former financial manager of Martha Flora on Wednesday. According to this witness there was no protocol for palliative sedation on Martha Flora. Whether that happened was determined by the general practitioner, in this case by W., according to this witness.

The case continues on Friday.

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Other coverage in Dutch:
Start proces tegen huisarts, verdacht van moord op schoonmoeder
Zaak Maastrichtse huisarts draait om stervenshulp of moord
Source: Man, 74, arrested for selling suicide powder to hundreds of people -

Man, 74, arrested for selling suicide powder to hundreds of people

February 24, 2022

A 74-year-old man from Castricum has been arrested in an investigation into the sale of so-called suicide powder and is thought to have had a role in at least four deaths.

The man may have sold the powder to more than 500 people online and ‘earned considerably’ from doing so, the public prosecution department said on Friday.

The investigation began after a suicide in Zeeland and a suspicious death in Breda. One of the two people had a package in their home which could be traced back to him, the department said. The man will be in court for a remand hearing on Friday.

The powder was first presented as a humane way of committing suicide by the Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), a right-to-die campaign group in 2017.

The cooperative sold it via meetings at members’ homes but stopped this last year after several people were arrested, including the organisation’s chairman.

The powder, a preservative, is legally available in the Netherlands unless sold as a suicide aid.

Last July a man named as Alex S was arrested for his role in distributing the powder, which justice ministry officials say may have been involved 33 deaths.

And in October, psychologist Wim van Dijk told the Volkskrant newspaper he had given the powder to more than 100 people. He said at the time he had gone public with his actions to stir up public debate.

Dutch coverage:
Verkoper Middel X opgepakt voor hulp bij 4 zelfmoorden
UPDATE on post #241 (Nov 23, 2021) above:
MPs in Italy back a new law that would legalise a form of euthanasia


MP's in Italy back a new law that would legalize a form of euthanasia

By Euronews • Updated: 11/03/2022 - 16:11

Italy has moved a step closer to legalizing a form of euthanasia.

MP's voted in favor of a new law -- by 253 votes to 117 with one abstention -- that would allow "voluntary medically assisted death" for ill patients.

The proposed bill would make assisted suicide legal for patients who suffer from an irreversible illness with an "unfortunate prognosis" that causes "absolutely intolerable physical and psychological suffering".

They must also have undergone a palliative treatment process and be maintained alive only with medical treatments.

The law will only allow these patients to end their life with medication under the approved assistance of medical personnel. They must also be of legal age, show capacity of understanding and be adequately informed.

Under Italian law, anyone who helps a person commit suicide faces between five and 12 years in prison.
The new bill follows a ruling from Italy's Constitutional Court in 2019, which said that certain forms of euthanasia should not be illegal.

The court said that assisted suicide would be allowed for terminally ill patients who were suffering from "unbearable" physical or psychological pain and were being kept alive by machines.

The case concerned an activist and former MEP, who had been convicted for helping a quadriplegic citizen die in Switzerland.

But judges had blocked an attempt to hold a referendum on voluntary euthanasia in February and instead that Italian MP's should decide on the matter.

The proposed legislation will now go to Italy's Senate for a vote before it can be passed into law.

Additional sourcesANSA, EFE

Related: Jesuit Journal Criticized for Article Supporting Assisted Suicide Bill in Italy
Source (in Dutch): Agent werd onwel na vermoedelijk contact met zelfmoordpoeder

NOS News - Domestic - today, 16:23 - Updated today, 16:31
Officer became unwell after suspected contact with suicide powder

The policeman who became unwell in a house in Arnhem yesterday probably came into contact with a suicide powder. In the house a dead person was found, who had taken his own life.

Officers had rushed to the Schuytgraaf neighborhood after a report that something serious had happened there. When the officers smelled a strange odor in the house, they immediately went back outside, where one of them did not feel well.

The officer was immediately taken to the hospital. There it was no longer possible to conclusively determine whether the policeman had become ill from contact with the drug, although that is assumed. He was allowed to return home last night after treatment and is doing well, says a police spokesman to Omroep Gelderland (in Dutch).

Police union ACP is concerned about the safety of officers after the incident. "It's just life-threatening stuff," says a spokeswoman. "Our people are often first on the scene and often provide first aid: including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Then you wouldn't want to think that someone had been handling that powder."

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Similar coverage (in Dutch): Agent werd onwel door inademen zelfmoordmiddel
Source (in Dutch): Nog nooit kregen zoveel mensen euthanasie als vorig jaar: 7666

Never before have so many people been euthanized as last year: 7,666

Seriously ill people chose euthanasia more often last year. It amounts to 4.5 percent of all deaths. That is higher than ever, despite the fact that many people died of corona.

Marten van de Wier - March 31, 2022

The number of people who received euthanasia in the Netherlands last year was higher than ever: 7,666. This is evident from the annual report (in Dutch; press release} of the Regional Euthanasia Review Committee (RTE), which was presented to the Lower House on Thursday afternoon. This is an increase of more than 10 percent compared to 2020.

In euthanasia, a doctor gives a seriously ill patient a lethal drug on request via infusion or in the form of a drink. 4.5 percent of all deaths were by euthanasia. That too has not been so high before. In 2020, it was 4.1 percent.

Number of reported cases:

Image: Brechtje Rood

Corona almost never led to euthanasia

The growth is striking because last year relatively many people died from corona. That disease almost never led to euthanasia. According to the RTE, only in a few cases did corona weigh in alongside another serious illness.

Could it be that seriously ill patients were more likely to choose euthanasia because of corona restrictions, which made life more difficult? "I don't get that from the hundreds of cases I handled myself. In them I did sometimes read that corona time was an unpleasant time, that people could not meet their children. But that was not the reason for euthanasia. Loneliness should never be the reason," says Jeroen Recourt, chairman of the RTE.

Euthanasia rate increasing by 10 percent for years

Moreover, Recourt had expected this increase. "In recent years we usually see an increase of 10 percent. Also in the first months of 2022 this continues."

Only in 2018 and 2019 was the number of patients receiving euthanasia lower than in 2017. That appears to be a temporary dip. According to knowledge institute Nivel which studied that dip, it could be related to the fact that a relatively large number of people died of influenza in 2018. It could also be linked to the criminal investigations announced by the Public Prosecutor's Office into a number of doctors for euthanasia. Possibly this made doctors less willing to perform euthanasia. In the end, only one doctor went to trial. She was discharged from prosecution.

'We must rule out people choosing euthanasia because there is no good alternative'

Recourt calls it "socially very relevant" to understand better what causes this steady growth. He has submitted the question about the backgrounds of the growth to a scientific committee that will evaluate the euthanasia law next year. "The fact that people choose to be in charge of their own death is in keeping with an individualized society. That is bound to be an element," Recourt said when asked.

"Although we see no evidence for this, we must also discount the possibility that the increase is partly because alternatives are not readily available," Recourt believes. "For example, because the care in the terminal phase would not be well organized or because the nursing homes would be horrible. Although it can also be an individual consideration not to want to go to the nursing home."

The Christian Dutch Patients Association (NPV), which has always been critical of euthanasia, is concerned about the increase. "The question is what is causing it," says Elise van Hoek. "Is the care in the dying phase failing? Is it fear of death? Or is support from the environment lacking? These, we believe, are important areas of concern."

Acceptance of euthanasia is increasing

Previous research (in Dutch; PDF-file, 48 pages; 2019) has also identified possible causes for the increase in dying by euthanasia. For example, public support for euthanasia increased. General practitioners are more willing to refer patients if they themselves do not want to perform euthanasia. There are more and more elderly people. And more and more people are dying of cancer, and less of cardiovascular disease.

Cancer is relatively often a reason for a request for euthanasia: more than half of the patients who received euthanasia suffered from cancer. In recent years there has been much discussion about euthanasia in people with psychiatric disorders or dementia. They form a much smaller group, whose share is growing slightly. Last year, 115 people were euthanized because of a psychiatric condition, and 215 people because of dementia.

Most people with dementia chose euthanasia at the time when they could still ask for it themselves. Six people could not, and were given euthanasia based on a request they had previously put in writing.

Nature of disorders in euthanasia:

Image: Brechtje Rood

Physician must report euthanasia to review board

Physicians who provide euthanasia must comply with a number of rules. For example, they must be convinced that a patient voluntarily chooses euthanasia, and that he or she is suffering unbearably due to illness. After each euthanasia, they send a substantiated report to the Regional Euthanasia Review Committee (RTE). The RTE is actually made up of fifteen smaller committees of three people (a doctor, a lawyer, and an ethicist) who each do a portion of the cases.

In most reports it is so obvious that the doctor acted with care that the committees do not discuss them. A small proportion are discussed (last year 490). If the committee decides that a doctor has not met all the criteria, the opinion is passed on to the Public Prosecution Service. The Public Prosecutor's Office often has a serious discussion with the doctor. Usually it does not come to prosecution: this has only happened once since the Euthanasia Act of 2002.

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Much shorter coverage in English:
Euthanasia deaths rise again in 2021, most patients had terminal cancer -
Archiving an extensive article on SOTT (by Sharon Kirkey - National Post - Mon, 04 Apr 2022 00:00 UTC) about the current situation in Canada. It contains a link to new research, the history of lawmaking in Canada concerning physician assisted suicide, several case histories and other content relevant in all these respects. It clearly shows the problematical and shady aspects as well.

Canada to offer medically-assisted suicide to the mentally ill --
Source (Dutch only): Opinie: ‘Maak barmhartige euthanasie in plaats van palliatieve sedatie makkelijker, ook zonder euthanasieverklaring’

Opinion: 'Make compassionate euthanasia rather than palliative sedation easier, even without a declaration of euthanasia'

Doctors' federation KNMG wants to amend its guideline on palliative sedation to broaden the possibilities to do so. Is this really desirable, wonders Wim van Dijk. Isn't it better in some cases to proceed to euthanasia, even if the patient does not yet have a declaration of euthanasia?

Het Parool
- 13 April 2022, 17:00

The KNMG allows palliative sedation when the expected dying process will last less than fourteen days and now wants to start allowing it when life expectancy exceeds fourteen days. Should palliative sedation be necessary, it would be merciful if the person concerned, or their legal representative, could choose between palliative sedation and immediate euthanasia, even without a declaration of euthanasia.

Palliative care is often fine. Palliative sedation to put the patient in a state of diminished consciousness to die without eating and drinking, I think is completely pointless. The patient processes external and internal stimuli, such as pain stimuli, but can hardly respond to them.

This agony of usually a few to fourteen days seems merciful, but it is cruel. For the loved ones, the nursing staff who have come to care about the patient, and the physician, it is traumatic. Why does this happen? Everyone knows that the patient is suffering and dying, so why not euthanasia without a declaration of euthanasia?

Euthanasia laws prevent this merciful dying.


Physicians are required by law to establish the standard of care "unbearable and/or hopeless suffering" and/or "another reasonable solution is possible." If not, they refuse end-of-life care. The legislation is immoral in part because it mandates doctors to make this assessment. After all, they cannot. Only the persons concerned can determine what is unbearable, hopeless and reasonable for them, and they may have previously recorded this in their declaration of euthanasia.

Objective criteria for these requirements of care cannot be determined. This would have been done long ago, and there would be no more discussions or experiences of arbitrariness. Not that the individual physician acts arbitrarily: everyone acts with integrity within their own knowledge, experiences, and beliefs. The problem is that different physicians can make different decisions about the same case. This is experienced as arbitrariness.

The use of palliative sedation, which by definition involves 'unbearable and hopeless suffering' and 'no other reasonable solution is possible', is irrational. The fact that the patient can no longer indicate a voluntary and deliberate desire to die should not prevent mercy euthanasia. If euthanasia is applied immediately, then patients, their loved ones, caregivers and physicians do not experience the traumatic process of deterioration, in which the patient often turns into a skeleton.

Increased desire for self-determination

By 2040, there will be at least 1,300,000 "euthanasia patients" (13.7 percent of adults), including people with Alzheimer's (500,000 deaths per year), Parkinson's (91,000), cardiovascular disease (670,000), cancer (45,000), and other hopeless conditions with unwanted suffering.

The required demand for care will gradually rise sharply. Meanwhile, 83 percent of citizens desire an end of life in their own control. Mainly due to the increased desire for self-determination and the shift from the general protectiveness of life to the evaluability of individual quality of life with possibly an individual death wish.

Yet in the Netherlands, being allowed to die with dignity under one's own direction remains a problem. At the Expertise Center for Euthanasia, it can take up to two years before a decision is made on whether or not to have euthanasia. According to official figures, in 2019, euthanasia was granted approximately 7,000 times and refused approximately 1,000 times. Palliative sedation took place 34,000 times. The question is whether these numbers are not underestimates and whether palliative sedation ("natural death") is not used to replace euthanasia (mandatory reporting according to euthanasia legislation).

Changing euthanasia legislation

I advocate a euthanasia legislation without the subjective requirements of care "unbearable/impossible suffering" and "a reasonable other solution is possible". End-of-life care is available to anyone who voluntarily and deliberately desires end-of-life care and has recorded this in a timely manner in a declaration of euthanasia (written and/or video), in a competent manner and well-informed about their own situation.

The declaration of euthanasia, which was made in a competent manner, remains in full force and effect when the patient becomes incapacitated. Anyone for whom the physician would decide on palliative sedation may be granted euthanasia. The end-of-life counselor (now the physician) obtains an end-of-life drug just before dying. It is carefully used immediately. When in doubt, a second opinion from a second end-of-life counselor is obtained.

W.F.M. van Dijk, psychologist


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Source (Dutch only): Kuipers tegen gebruik van zelfdodende middelen bij voltooid leven

Kuipers against use of suicide drugs in case of completed life

ANP April 25, 2022 12:39 Modified: April 25, 2022 13:05

Minister Ernst Kuipers is "absolutely not in favor" of the movement of people who "want to keep control of their own lives" and therefore want to end their lives themselves with a suicide drug. According to Kuipers, "an impulsive intake is extremely risky." The D66 minister calls the help of the doctor and control of an assessment committee important.

In a speech at the congress of the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVVE), the minister further states that he is especially proud of the euthanasia law that was introduced 20 years ago. Kuipers states that the law was drafted "extremely carefully", with "room for the doctor to make a proper assessment". He calls the law "the guide" for the few countries that now also have a euthanasia law.

At the same time, the minister emphasizes that the law provides clarity. It is the doctors, a review committee and politicians who decide on this law. The NVVE expresses dissatisfaction at the congress with the Public Prosecution Service that "unjustly claims a prominent place". The association believes that the euthanasia practice is at risk because of the role that the Public Prosecutor takes. When asked, Kuipers did not want to say anything about this.

In his speech, the minister did not mention the bill on 'completed life' by former D66 Member of Parliament Pia Dijkstra. Under this bill, people aged 75 and over who consider their lives complete will be given the option of ending their lives with assistance. The law still has to be discussed in the Lower House.

In the coalition agreement between VVD, D66, ChristenUnie and CDA it has been agreed to leave the bill a free issue in parliament. All MPs may therefore decide for themselves whether they will vote for or against it. CU leader Gert-Jan Segers had indicated that his party would not sign on to the initiative.

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Source (Dutch only): KWF wil ongeneeslijk zieken beter begeleiden, ook focus op 'kwaliteit van sterven'

NOS News - Domestic - today, 08:27
KWF wants to guide incurably ill people better, also focus on 'quality of dying'

Doctors and nurses need to pay more attention to patients who will not get better. Cancer fund KWF is therefore starting a training course in palliative care, which focuses not on curing the disease but on ending life with dignity.

"There is always a lot of focus on the body in people who are incurably ill - pain, tightness of the chest - but we think the psychological sides need a lot more attention in training," says lung specialist Sander de Hosson of the Wilhelmina Hospital Assen, one of the initiators of the program.

"It's not the tumor that should be the focus, but the whole person. I really did have to learn that in practice. When I was trained I had a week on palliative care and in my advanced training an hour, while 40 percent of my profession consists of it."

"How can I still give some color to my life?
- Lung specialist Sander de Hosson on one of the spearheads of training

Research shows that two-thirds of healthcare professionals feel inadequately trained in this area. Patients also notice this: almost a third lack adequate support after a so-called Bad News conversation.

"People who are incurably ill often have to deal with anxiety, depressive symptoms, mourning or issues of meaning - how can I still give color to my life?" lists De Hosson. Incurably ill patients also lack support for their loved ones or want to talk about which form of care best suits their wishes.

"In my consulting room, people are very afraid of eventually choking," cites pulmonologist De Hosson as an example. "I can tell them that won't happen, because we have medication. Just that message alone can bring a lot of peace to people. I really had to learn to talk about that properly."

Course immediately full

Last weekend, the teaching team for the new course met for the first time. May 12, the courses will start. "There is a lot of demand for this subject. The continuing education course that starts in May was immediately full."

Previously, Nieuwsuur spoke with three experts about palliative care. According to several caregivers who nurse and counsel people in the last weeks of life, doctors continue to treat too long and people barely have time to properly say goodbye to life and die, is shown in this video [in Dutch; 15:15 min; video omitted due to incompatible format].

Initially, this is a pilot project in Zwolle for six hospitals, training first nurses and then doctors. Later, in collaboration with the Amsterdam UMC, the course will be rolled out nationwide.

"We have developed modules, for example on how to start a conversation with a patient early on about wishes and needs - what is important now, but also in later stages. Many patients are also afraid of the dying process, so we will try to teach things about what happens then."

This should eventually train a thousand care workers who can transfer their knowledge to colleagues. De Hosson can sum up its objective in one sentence: "Quality of life and of dying."

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Source (in Dutch): Euthanasie op vrouw in kerkgebouw United Church of Canada

Euthanasia on woman in United Church of Canada church building

Wim Kranendonk - 2 May 2022 12:56

Church & Religion
At the request of an 86-year-old ALS patient, euthanasia was performed on her recently in the United Church church building in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rev. Dawn Rolke of the Churchill Park United Church, led the so-called "Crossing Over Ceremony," which was first reported in various Canadian and American media last week.

After family members and friends sang some gospel songs to 86-year-old Betty Sanguin, the pastor said a prayer of blessing. The ALS patient was sitting in an armchair in the liturgical center of the church and surrounded by her six children when a medical team administered a lethal injection to her. An hour later, she had died.

Prior to the death, family, friends and acquaintances had stopped by to express their love and friendship to the woman and to say goodbye to her.

Rev. Rolke said it "seemed appropriate" to hold the ceremony at the church because churches often "are the host and home to all the frayed issues in our lives and to some of our important life rituals such as baptism, marriage, funeral or memorial services."

The church board of the congregation had unanimously approved Sanguin's request for a ceremony around assisted suicide. "For us, it was completely natural to hold this service for Betty at our church because death is a natural part of life and Betty had belonged to our congregation for much of her adult life. We were very honored to be able to be with Betty in her last moments and hours and to fulfill her wishes around her dying. She was so happy, she was so ready, she was so radiant," said Rev. Rolke. On its website, the church congregation calls itself "progressive."


In 2016, Canada passed a law legalizing physician-assisted suicide, limiting access to citizens who are at least 18 years old and have "a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability" that involves "permanent and unbearable suffering."

The United Church of Canada, the denomination to which Churchill Park belongs, passed a resolution in 2017 stating that euthanasia should be a free choice of terminally ill patients.

The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada with more than 2 million members and about 3,000 congregations. It was formed in 1925 through a union of the Methodist Church, the Congregational Union of Canada and much of the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

Translated with (free version)

Coverage in English:
City woman chose medically assisted death in church where ALS sufferer had raised her family
Canadian church hosts controversial assisted suicide ceremony for member with ALS
'Deeply Troubling': Manitoba Church Holds Controversial Assisted Suicide Ceremony
Woman ends life through assisted suicide in ceremony held at Canadian church - LifeSite
Manitoba's first medically assisted death in a church was an 'intimate' ceremony | Broadview Magazine
Source (Dutch only): Wet voltooid leven biedt onvoldoende bescherming voor oudere die twijfelt over doodswens

Completed Life Act offers insufficient protection for older people who have doubts about their wish to die

The law that should clear the way for a voluntary end of life for people with a 'completed life' still offers insufficient protection for the elderly, concludes the Council of State.

Marten van de Wier - 20 May 2022, 14:26

D66's bill on assisted suicide for people who are not seriously ill must be amended before the Lower House votes on it. That is the opinion of the Council of State, the main advisor to the House of Representatives and the Cabinet on new laws. The bill was submitted by former member of the Lower House Pia Dijkstra. According to the plan, people over 75 who consider their lives to be completed could receive help to end their lives.

Council of State wants to prevent elderly from receiving assisted suicide while they do not want it

According to the Council of State, the current proposal does not offer sufficient protection to the elderly. The law must incorporate requirements to prevent elderly people from receiving assisted suicide while it is not certain that they really want it, or whose death wish is unstable or incoherent. It must also be clear that their wish does not stem from medical problems or problems that may be solvable, such as lack of money.

The issues are complex, the Council says, citing an earlier study commissioned by the Government. Anxiousness, financial worries, illnesses, loneliness, dependence on others and the feeling of being a burden to others influence the wish, it showed. The death wish is also variable, does not occur continuously and is not always of the same weight. Sometimes it diminishes or even disappears, after some time.

The bill is a delicate matter in the coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie. The latter party is mordantly opposed to the bill and has already let it be known that it does not want to be in a government that introduces the law.

D66 devised a pathway with due diligence requirements, similar to the euthanasia law

The Netherlands already has a euthanasia law, but it is intended for people who suffer unbearably and hopelessly due to illness. The D66 bill deals with elderly people who are not sick, but want to die. D66 outlines in the bill a pathway that is somewhat similar to that in the Euthanasia Act. Elderly people who qualify are eventually given a lethal drug and assistance in dying.

Instead of the doctor, there is an "end-of-life counselor" who supervises the process. For example, he must check whether the elderly person has talked to his family about his death wish. The elderly person's request must be voluntary, well-considered and 'sustained'; the facilitator must be convinced of this. In addition, the elder and he must come to the conclusion together that any other assistance is "not wanted."

The elder must write down his request for assisted suicide or record it on video. The counselor consults at least one other end-of-life counselor, who also talks with the elder. Finally, he oversees a "professional implementation," and remains present at the dying process. As with euthanasia, a review committee judges afterwards whether the assisted suicide was careful.

'Government has duty to protect citizens'

The Council of State finds that these requirements of care do not offer sufficient protection. "Based on international treaties, the government has the obligation to protect citizens against involuntary, hasty or insufficiently informed decisions about the end of life and against abuse of a regulation as proposed here," the Council emphasizes.

D66 is taking the time to study the advice extensively, the party announced. In a reaction, Lower House member Mirjam Bikker of the Christian Union calls for better care, better combating of loneliness and a better approach to financial problems for the elderly. "Don't go down this road, don't start this, I would like to say urgently to my colleagues from D66."

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Other Dutch coverage:
Raad van State keurt stervenswet D66 af
Tegenslag D66-voorstel voltooid leven: Raad van State zeer kritisch
Raad van State: initiatiefwet vrijwillig levenseinde nog niet goed genoeg
This article from SOTT caught my attention the other day, euthanasia suggested for the so called elderly in our society, by the Claus Schwab WEF. to quote Nancy Pelosi "To Save the Children"

According to Christine Legard, who is 66 this year. President of the European Central Bank. To quote from a twitter embedded in the article.

"Old people live too long and this is a risk to the global economy"

From the article

How have we allowed these people to get so far so fast to attack our most vulnerable? 40 plus years ago when they allowed abortion to kill the most innocent among us, many people said it would eventually end up to terminating the elderly as well. There were lots of handwaving and dismissal of that argument. However, 40 plus years on, we see that that is exactly what they are planning on doing. This, after a worldwide pandemic from a bioweapon produced by our own government within China which targeted specifically, it seems, the elderly and infirmed. They now want senior individuals who no longer "produce" enough to justify their life to opt for euthanasia.

As a senior, I find this despicable. It reminds me of the dystopian movie, Solyent Green.

Source: Man faces jail for helping woman with psychiatric problems to die -

Man faces jail for helping woman with psychiatric problems to die

June 10, 2022

The public prosecution department is taking a 45-year-man to court for helping a woman he had known for two months and who had serious psychiatric problems, to die.

The department told judges on Friday (in Dutch) that the man, from the Wadden island of Ameland, should be jailed for 12 months, three suspended, for helping the woman to die in August 2020.

The woman’s death was declared a suicide but a short while afterwards, her mother was approached on Facebook by a man who claimed he was with her when she died. He also spoke about getting hold of the equipment needed, including a tube and a plastic bag, the department said.

The mother went to the police who reopened the case and discovered the two had met two months previously on a dating app and had discussed her psychiatric problems.

The public prosecutor said during Friday’s hearing that there is no question the man acted with the best of intentions. Nevertheless, ‘helping someone to kill themselves is punishable by law, and with good reason,’ the department said.

Helping someone to kill themselves is illegal in the Netherlands, unless carried out by a doctor in line with the law on euthanasia. The maximum sentence is three years.
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