Dutch politicians debate assisted suicide for “elderly people who are tired of life”
“The very elderly who have had enough should be able to die when they choose”, said Pia Dijkstra, a member of the D66 party. European evangelicals have raised their voice against euthanasia.
Christian Today, Evangelical Focus · AMSTERDAM · 13 SEPTEMBER 2019 · 17:16 CET
The Dutch liberal democratic party is drawing up a legislation, that would make it possible for the elderly who consider their life is at an end, to be helped to die.
In June, the government launched a new campaign to encourage people to think more about the end of their lives, “looking into the options for assisted suicide for elderly people who are tired of life”.
“ELDERLY SHOULD BE ABLE TO DIE WHEN THEY CHOOSE”
However, Pia Dijkstra, a member of the Democrats 66 party, said health minister Hugo de Jonge “obviously senses the urgency less than I do”.
“The very elderly who have had enough should be able to die when they choose”, she added.
The Netherlands was the first European country to legalise assisted suicide in 2002, “for those over 12 experiencing hopeless and unbearable suffering, with no prospect of further treatment bringing about an improvement”.
DUTCH DOTOR, ACQUITTED IN EUTHANASIA CASE
This week, a doctor accused of failing to verify consent before performing euthanasia on a dementia patient has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Dutch court.
Judges said the doctor acted lawfully as not carrying out the process would have undermined the patient's wish. It is the first such case since the country legalised euthanasia in 2002.
AEE: “EUTHANASIA DOES NOT RESPOND TO SITUATIONS OF SEVERE SUFFERING”
Evangelicals around Europe have addressed euthanasia from a biblical perspective in the last years.
The Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE) drew up several amendments to the Euthanasia Law that the Social Democrat party PSOE presented in the Parliament last year.
The AEE considered that the draft law has to do with the legalisation of “assisted legal suicide, which does not respond to common situations of severe suffering”, and it emphasised the need to “develop the palliative care, whose processing is pending approval since last year”.
CNEF: “THE VALUE OF EVERY HUMAN THAT THE BIBLE RECOGNISES, INVITES RESPECT”
Meanwhile, the Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF) organized a meeting on May 2018 in Paris, to present its positions on the future French Bioethics law.
“Evangelicals ultimately believe that the value and dignity that the Bible recognizes for every human being invites respect for all. This fundamental principle must take precedence over the demand of individuals to achieve their will and the tendency of society to measure everything by the norm of profitability”, CNEF said in a statement after the meeting.
LEGAL EUTHANASIA WORLDWIDE
Worldwide, the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia and Luxembourg have legalised euthanasia. A doctor ends the person’s life, usually by administering barbiturate drugs.
In Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Canada, doctor-assisted suicide is legal. In these cases, patients take the final action themselves, is legal.
In the United States, physician-assisted dying is legal in only five states: Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California and Montana