Campaign for ‘last wish’ pills

Southland Times, 8 January 2016

The Dutch Society for a Voluntary End Of Life is now campaigning for suicide pills to become available automatically to everybody over 70 on the basis of a request to a doctor or pharmacist.

Doctors are concerned that medically assisted killing is increasingly seen as a consumer right and they fear that the campaign will create ‘‘an obligation for the doctor to cooperate’’ on demand, leading to abuse of euthanasia or an acceptance that it is the most appropriate social response to old age.

In 2014, 5306 Dutch people, including patients who were 41 mentally ill, persuaded their doctors to administer lethal doses of drugs to end their lives because of ‘‘unbearable’’ pain.

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Click here to read an Open Letter to New Zealanders: Doctors say no to assisted suicide.