Netherlands: Assisted dying could be legalised for over-75s who have had ‘enough of life’

Dutch News, 19 December 2016

In October 2016 the Dutch Health minister Edith Schippers advised Parliament that “the government was looking to legalise assisted suicide for elderly people who were ‘suffering from life’.”

In December Pia Dijkstra, a D66 Member of Parliament, proposed a bill that “would make it legal to arrange the death of anyone with an ‘intrinsic and consistent’ wish to die.”

Dijkstra told Nieuwsuur: ‘There are plenty of examples of people who say, “I’ve had enough of life, I have children and grandchildren, they’re all doing well, but I’m detached, I don’t play a role in their lives any more. The only thing waiting for me is decline and I don’t want to go through that.”’ Dijkstra said the conditions were designed to ensure that assisted suicide would only be granted to people who made the request ‘of their own free will, properly considered and without pressure from outside’ and who were mentally fit to make the decision.

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