The
Dutch voluntary euthanasia society (NVVE) is planning to open an
eight-person
clinic in 2012 where people can go to end their lives. It estimates that
about
1,000 people a year would take advantage of its facilities.  It would
cater for people whose doctors
have refused to euthanase them. Not only people with an incurable
illness, but
also people with chronic psychiatric conditions and dementia would be
welcome.

Reported
deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands rose 13% to 2,636 in 2009,
although it
is strongly suspected that there are many unreported euthanasia deaths.
Euthanasia
is legal in the Netherlands under certain conditions. The patient is
supposed
to be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the
patient is
making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also
required. It
is not altogether clear how the proposed clinic would meet these
guidelines.

The
Dutch medical association (KNMG) does not support the clinic – partly
because
patients would only stay there for three days before they died. A
spokesman for
the KNMG said that doctors feared that the clinic would not give proper
care
and would make death too easy. “Decisions about death require an open
mind, not a tunnel vision in which the only outcome is death,” said the
spokesman.

The
NVVE is seeking a partner to help finance the project. ~  NRC.nl,
Jan 20

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet.