Netherlands would come up with a new law, assisting old and healthy people to end their lives whenever they wish to
A proposal which would legalize assisted suicide for old and healthy people in the Netherlands have created a storm in some quarters. Netherlands has also become the first country in the world in 2001 to legalize euthanasia, for patients who bears the unbearable pain and there is no cure for their illness.
Critics say that the country has travelled a long distance in the consideration of a proposed law which would allow old people who are not suffering from any medical condition to end their lives whenever they feel that they have “completed life.” People who are favoring the law say that limiting assisted death to people with terminal illnesses is not enough, and people who are old but healthy should also be given the right to end their lives whenever they choose to do so.
The health minister of Netherlands, Edith Schippers supported the proposal by reading the following points in the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday:
- That people who are no more living a meaningful life
- People who struggle with loss of independence and reduced mobility
- People who feel lonely because of the loss of loved ones
- People who are in fatigue and loss of personal dignity
The Law would be drafted mostly by the end of 2017 in full consultation with doctors and ethicists. The law has to be applied with great care by proper examining the potential applicants by a death assistance provider with a medical background.
While this kind of law is penetrating in many countries, including the US, the application of this law has gained wide acceptance in Netherlands, which reported 5516 deaths from euthanasia in 2015 which counts for 4% of total deaths in the entire country.
Disagreement shown towards this proposal
- There are people who are not favoring the proposal and say that such a law would threaten the morality. Moreover, they say that the law doesn’t even mention the minimum age to which it is applicable.
- Geert Wilders, a politician, warned against the state that the state is acting as an enabler for the people who are lonely or depressed.
- A Dutch newspaper puts up a question that, “How can we allow people who are needy or lonely to die?” “Combating loneliness and investing in dignity of old people is the best option available.”
- Christian groups have also shown unfavorism to this law mentioning it as “state approved murder.”
- The leader of Christian party, Gertjan Segers said, “there is a myth behind this law that it is a purely individual choice, and it also affects the family, the community and ultimately the society.”
Analysts have quoted this law as too vague, which can lead the elder people of the families to take this action out of fears that they are burden to their families. Also, the law has many obstacles before it can get passed as there are national elections that would change the composition of the government.