10 Questions for David Seymour: #10

by Care Alliance, 25 July 2017

Click here to view the 10 Questions For David Seymour website, with questions (and answers!) being added between 12 July and 25 July.

#10. Would a person with chronic arthritis be eligible?

  • Those eligible for euthanasia under the David Seymour Bill include people who are not terminally ill. A person is eligible for euthanasia if he or she is “in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability” and experiencing “intolerable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that her or she considers tolerable”.
  • David Seymour’s Bill defines eligibility using the terms: “grievous and irremediable”, “irreversible decline” and “unbearable”, making the extent of coverage both subjective and wide-ranging.
  • These conditions for eligibility are very similar to those that apply in the Netherlands, which now provides euthanasia to people with disabilities, with psychiatric disorders and with dementia. Cases there have included a person with “aging-related conditions, including arthrosis of the knee, pain from vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, headaches, poor kidney function, incontinence, impaired vision, atrial fibrillation and hemiparesis following a CVA” and “the feeling that life was no longer meaningful” because of functional decline and dependence on others (Annual Report 2014, p. 23).

Conclusion: Someone with chronic arthritis would be eligible for euthanasia under David Seymour’s Bill. The Bill is based on widely-drawn parameters that would include many persons suffering from incurable, but relatively common, conditions.