End of LifeWed Feb 8, 2012 - 11:35 am EST
First private, door-to-door euthanasia service opens in Netherlands
February 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Netherlands Right-to-Die Association (NVVE) has announced that it will soon fulfill a promise made last year to open a private euthanasia “clinic” that offers door-to-door service, for people who can’t convince their regular doctor to kill them.
According to reports in the Spanish and Portuguese-language press, the clinic will serve clients who wish to end their lives, but have been refused help from doctors for “ethical” reasons. A report by Radio Netherlands says that the organization has mentioned patients who are “in the early stages of dementia and those suffering from chronic psychiatric problems.”
The NVVE intends to maintain six mobile teams consisting of one doctor and one nurse; the service will start March 1 in the Hague. The organization estimates that it will receive one thousand euthanasia requests annually.
Euthanasia has been practiced with impunity in the Netherlands for decades, and the law has permitted the practice explicitly since 2002, when a measure was passed allowing doctors to kill patients who experience “lasting and unbearable” suffering, and who freely request it.
Under the Groningen Protocol, the Netherlands also permits the euthanasia of disabled newborn babies.
As LifeSiteNews has reported previously, euthanasia advocates have since pushed for broader euthanasia rights, for those who are without the use of their faculties, and even healthy patients who wish to die.
Although the Dutch medical profession has shown itself to be broadly accepting of euthanasia, the announcement by the NVVE provoked a worried response from the Federation of Dutch Physicians.”
“In the worst of cases, people could die who perhaps could have received some other type of help,” the Federation said.
The NVVE insists that its mobile euthanasia teams will work with family doctors “if possible,” in the words of Radio Netherlands, and says that it “will conform to the Euthanasia Law” of 2002. However, such assurances are unlikely to appease critics, due to conflicting interpretations of the law offered by the medical profession and the courts.
“The mobile euthanasia teams are a direct effort to eliminate the lives of people with disabilities,” Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told LifeSiteNews. “This is also a specific form of elder abuse because frail, elderly people who are unable to request euthanasia will be dying by euthanasia through these mobile teams.”