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Can You Really “Die Of Loneliness” In The Netherlands?

Can You Really “Die Of Loneliness” In The Netherlands?

Poverty.  Loneliness.  According to new regulations in the Netherlands, both conditions could now make it possible for those who are experiencing “unbearable, lasting suffering” of a type that doesn’t involve a mortal disease to request euthanasia from a physician.

Via Radio Netherlands Worldwide, “Until now, factors such as income or a patient’s social life played almost no role when physicians were considering a euthanasia request. However, the new guidelines will certainly change that. After almost a year of discussions, the KNMG has published a paper which says a combination of social factors and diseases and ailments that are not terminal may also qualify as unbearable and lasting suffering under the Euthanasia Act.”

Those other social factors?  Vulnerability, the accumulation of advanced age or health conditions that on their own wouldn’t necessarily lead to death, but reduces quality of life to a point where suffering then becomes “unbearable and lasting.”

Some fear that this new definition being considered could lead to a slippery slope of making euthanasia too easy to obtain, despite the fact that one parameter being set is that a second specialist must be brought in for an independent consultation as well.  But others argue that if suicide is already an option, isn’t euthanasia simply a kinder, gentler way of ending a life, and a choice each person should make for him or herself?

In 2010, there were 3136 cases of registered euthanasia, out of a population of 17 million.

 

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Photo credit: wikimedia commons

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119 comments

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7:55PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

:)

9:55AM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Exactly! :-)

9:52AM PST on Nov 18, 2011

:-)

9:51AM PST on Nov 18, 2011

:-)

9:30AM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Pam, that's exactly what they're doing. Who the hell do you think makes these stupid laws that say you can't kill yourself?

Who censors a stand up comedian on tv, bleeping out all they say so that I CANNOT watch it without missing every three words?

IF you don't want to watch it (they DO have warnings), DON'T!
IF you don't want to kill yourself, then DON'T!

It's really as simple as that. I don't see NON religious people trying to cram their beliefs down other people's throats...

:(

8:52AM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Fine, Ainsley...that would be YOUR choice! Nobody is suggesting you should be FORCED to choose euthanasia at the end of your painful suffering because of cancer or multiple sclerosis, etc.

But YOUR "god as the author of life" belief doesn't apply to me and my life, nor should it.

Are you really suggesting that YOUR religious views should rule MY life?

11:15PM PST on Nov 17, 2011

God is the author and finisher of life-not man. Once one allows euthanasia for an incurable disease then people start using minor excuses to end it all, like being lonely or my kids urgently need their inheritance. Medically pain can be controlled. Beside it is unfair to put a doctor under the stress of taking someone's life.

8:20PM PST on Nov 17, 2011

@ Marianna B M "if you knew Jesus, you would never know lonliness"...It seems to work for some children. They also have invisible friends..

11:47AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

shocking

3:35AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Sometimes society is very focused on end of a problem and not on the other... let's vow all babies to be born - and it's not relevant whether they are wanted, there is a loving home for them. Let's force everybody to stick around until the very bitter end, and if you're desperately lonely and very unhappy, that is not our problem to solve but knowing you may choose to die makes US too unhappy so you aren't allowed to do that.

I once had an interview with a Dutch GP, in the course of his practise he had assisted in only a few human euthanasias, each of those had taken months of careful thought and discussion and broke his heart but still he was proud to have been a part granting the final wish of a person.

I added "human" to the word because as humanity, we are only all to eager to send every other living being over the edge.... where is the outrage about that?

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