Tags: euthanasia | assisted suicide | Holland | Netherlands | mobile euthanasia

Assisted-Suicide Squads Launched in Holland

Thursday, 01 Mar 2012 03:24 PM


Six specialized teams will criss-cross the Netherlands to carry out euthanasia at the homes of patients whose own doctors refuse to do so, a pro-euthanasia group said.

"From Thursday, the Levenseindekliniek (Life-end clinic) will have mobile teams where people who think they comply with the criteria for euthanasia can register," Right-to-die NL (NVVE) spokeswoman Walburg de Jong said.

"If they comply, the teams will carry out the euthanasia at patients' homes should their normal doctors refuse to help them."

De Jong says the group, called the Life-end clinic, has teams made up of a specially-trained doctor and nurse who will work part time, visiting patients all over the Netherlands.

The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia in April 2002, and has strict criteria regulating how such mercy killings can be carried out.

Patients must be mentally alert when making the request to die.

Patients also have to face a future of "unbearable, interminable suffering" and both the patient and the doctor - who have to obtain a second opinion - before euthanasia is carried out, must agree there is no cure.

Each euthanasia case is then reported to one of five special commissions, each made up of a doctor, a lawyer and an ethical expert charged with verifying that all criteria had been observed.

The mobile euthanasia plan, which received the thumbs-up from Dutch health minister Edith Schippers in the Dutch parliament, has been met with skepticism from one of the Netherlands' largest medical lobbies.

The Royal Dutch Society of Doctors says it doubts whether the "euthanasia doctors" will be able to form a close enough relationship with a patient to make a correct assessment.

De Jong says around 3,100 mercy killings are carried out each year in the Netherlands and that the NVVE has already been phoned by 70 potential patients since the plan was announced in early February.

The NVVE says its teams are expected to receive around 1,000 assisted suicides requests per year.

AFP





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Mobile euthanasia units have been launched in the Netherlands.
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2012-24-01
Thursday, 01 Mar 2012 03:24 PM
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