The Physically Healthy are Euthanised in BeNeLux

Needles

A 24-year-old Belgian woman who suffers from depression and has had a "death wish" since childhood has been granted the right to die  — even though she's not physically ill.

 


Doctors gave the young woman, known only as Laura, the permission to be euthanized by lethal injection after she spent her life battling suicidal thoughts, she told De Morgen.
    
"Life, that's not for me," she said. "Death feels to me not as a choice. If I had a choice, I would choose a bearable life, but I have done everything and that was unsuccessful."
    
Laura, who entered a psychiatric institution when she was 21, said her alcoholic father and childhood troubles contributed to her longtime "death wish."
    
"I played all my life with these thoughts of suicide, I have also done a few attempts," she said. "But then there is someone who needs me, and I don't want to hurt anyone. That has always stopped me."
    
Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, The Netherlands in 2001. The policies are now considered ordinary medical procedures. 650 babies are killed each year in the Netherlands, as well as many healthy adults including a 47-year-old divorced mother of two who was suffering from tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. She left behind a 13-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter, the Daily Mail has reported.  

Although the numbers of deaths remained steady between 2002 and 2008, even falling back a little in some years, over the last seven years there has been an exponential growth in the number of assisted dying cases. Now one in thirty death in the Low Countries are from euthanasia.

This is due in no small part to constant pressure from Dutch Right to Die Society (NVVE) to push the boundaries of acceptability.

Under Dutch law, GPs can administer injections to end life. The intention was that a person’s GP, who would have a long term relationship with that person, would have the option open as a last resort. However, the NVVE set up a number of travelling euthanasia “Clinics”, who either euthanize the person or send them away. On average doctors see their patient just three times before killing them.

About the Author

Patrick Flanagan

Writer

Irish Burkean Conservative. Roman Catholic. Líofa i nGaeilge.

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