Netherlands churches express concern over assisted suicide proposal
An article in the Netherlands paper Reformatorisch Dagblad entitled: Churches express concern about the initiative on Free Will, concerns a joint letter written to the Government house in the Netherlands concerning proposals to allow assisted suicide for people who are “tired of living.”
The letter to the government was sent on behalf of seven denominations of various Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.
The church leaders point out in their letter to the government that the current initiative by the Dutch Euthanasia Society (NVVE) is much wider than the current euthanasia law that was passed in 2002. This new proposal would approve assisted suicide for people who have passed the age 70 years and who are not living with a medical condition related to hopeless and unbearable suffering. The person requests assisted suicide is simply “tired of living.”
The church leaders reminded the government of their call to protect human life. The letter stated that: The protective value of life is a central value, even when life is marked by ill health. The churches emphasized that society is better served by valuing people at every age, instead of legalizing assisted suicide.
Insurmountable objections can be raised against the initiative of “Free Will.” The letter stated: Life is not available to man, but has received from God. Therefore we believe it is not lawful to hasten the death for ourselves or for our others.
The letter was also concerned with the psychological pressure that be placed upon many people who are over 70 who want to live. The authors warned that it should not be underestimated how these people will be made to think that they are a burden to their families. The churches were also concerned about the moral pressure on those caring or nursing older people who may be called to assist a suicide.
The Netherlands euthanasia society (NVVE), is preparing advance directives, that will include the request for assisted suicide for “tired of living.”