The Dutch Liberal democratic party is drawing up legislation which would make it possible for the elderly who consider their life is at an end to be helped to die.
D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra said she plans to introduce a draft bill early next year. Government ministers are currently looking into options for assisted suicide for people who are ‘tired of life’ but, says Dijkstra, health minister Hugo de Jonge is not working quickly enough. ‘The minister obviously senses the urgency less than I do,’ she said. ‘The very elderly who have had enough should be able to die when they choose.’
In June the government launched a new campaign to encourage people to think more about the end of their lives – well before they reach them. The website About Palliative Care brings together all sorts of information about care options for later life and how to talk with family and friends about your wishes.
Euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002 for those over 12 experiencing ‘hopeless and unbearable suffering’, who want to die and have come to the conclusion independently.