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80% of dutch voters support allowing euthanasia for those who feel their life is "complete"

Assisted Suicide
18 January 2024
Married older couple hospital bed

A recent poll in the Netherlands indicates strong public support for euthanasia for those who consider their lives complete, with 80% of Dutch voters favouring the option. This support comes amid ongoing debates about euthanasia laws in the country.

The poll results follow the submission of amendments to a controversial bill, first introduced in 2020, that would allow people over 75 to request euthanasia if they feel their life is "completed." This proposal, initially made by Pia Dijkstra of the D66 party, has been a subject of political debate and has undergone modifications based on recommendations from the Council of State.

The revised bill suggests that an "end-of-life counselor," who has undergone special training, should engage in three conversations over six months with the person requesting euthanasia. A doctor would also provide information about relevant medical factors.

However, the bill faces opposition from several political parties in the Dutch House of Representatives, including ChristenUnie, the Reformed Political Party (SGP), and others. Nicki Pouw-Verweij, MP for the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) party, highlights the deep impoverishment of elderly care, while Harry Bevers of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) emphasises the need to avoid social pressure in making such decisions.

The Netherlands has a history of progressive euthanasia laws. Euthanasia was effectively decriminalised in 1984 and formally by Parliament in 2001. In 2020, euthanasia accounted for 4.1% of total deaths in the Netherlands, and this figure rose to 5.1% in 2022. The current law also includes provisions for assisted suicide for elderly people suffering from degenerative conditions and for minors with parental consent.

Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right To Life UK, says, "It is deeply concerning to see the increasing public support for euthanasia in the Netherlands and the ongoing expansion of their euthanasia laws. Euthanasia and assisted suicide represent a failure of compassion and care in our society."

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