May 30, 2024

Dutch activists planning euthanasia clinic

Doctors disapprove

Dutch voluntary euthanasia society (NVVE) is planning to open an eight-person
clinic in 2012 where people can go to end their lives. It estimates that about
1,000 people a year would take advantage of its facilities.  It would cater for people whose doctors
have refused to euthanase them. Not only people with an incurable illness, but
also people with chronic psychiatric conditions and dementia would be welcome.

deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands rose 13% to 2,636 in 2009, although it
is strongly suspected that there are many unreported euthanasia deaths. Euthanasia
is legal in the Netherlands under certain conditions. The patient is supposed
to be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is
making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required. It
is not altogether clear how the proposed clinic would meet these guidelines.

Dutch medical association (KNMG) does not support the clinic – partly because
patients would only stay there for three days before they died. A spokesman for
the KNMG said that doctors feared that the clinic would not give proper care
and would make death too easy. “Decisions about death require an open
mind, not a tunnel vision in which the only outcome is death,” said the

NVVE is seeking a partner to help finance the project. ~, Jan 20

Michael Cook