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The Exit Internationalist

March 15, 2024

Dutch Doctors Association Reject Completed Life Bill

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In November 2023, the Dutch political party D66 submitted an amended ‘Completed Life’ (Voltooid Leven) bill to the Dutch Parliament.

Responding to criticism, they tightened the eligibility criteria by mandating that people ‘aged 75 and older who feel that their life is complete and therefore want to end it with help at a time of their choosing should be given that option, but only after they complete a process with an “end-of-life counselor” for at least six months’.

Another new criteria was that a doctor must be involved in the process and must inform the counselor about the medical situation of the person concerned.

Fast-forward to March 2024 and even these onerous restrictions have not been enough to satisfy the Dutch Doctors Association – KNMG – who have come out against the Bill.

The KNMG have been reported saying there are ‘problems such as loneliness, depression and financial problems, among others and that these issues required further address.

The age limit (75+) is also reported as an issue for the doctors.

D66 Parliamentary Leader, Anne-Marijke Podt (who will submit the bill this week), has said that KNMG is not making a constructive contribution to the debate on a self-chosen end of life and has lashed out at the federation.

D66 is ‘under no illusion’ that the KNMG represents “all doctors in the Netherlands” with this criticism.

However she has said that the end of life is too fundamental and personal’. She said that the KNMG criticism ‘does not do justice to the desire of the majority of Dutch people to enable a self-chosen end of life without a medical basis.’

Podt concluded, presumably through gritted teeth, that the party will ‘certainly take the KNMG’s objections into account in further discussion of the bill’.

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