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The Exit Internationalist

July 9, 2023

The Importance of Legalizing Assisted Dying

The Buddhist Daily

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This week the topic of assisted suicide and the lawsuit against Alex S. was in the news in full force.

The NVVE believes that there should be more (legal) opportunities for personal control of a dignified end of life.

The NVVVE therefore advocates the abolition of the criminality of assisted suicide, the possibility of dying assistance by professionals who are not necessarily doctors and the regulated availability of a legal, dignified, safe and reliable means of dying.

According to this organization, it is important for the Netherlands to break away from incidents and engage in serious debate about end-of-life self-direction; a goal supported by 2/3rds of the Dutch population.

The NVVE believes that people should be able to choose a dignified death under their own direction – even if they are not ill and therefore not eligible for euthanasia.

People with a deliberate persistent death wish should have access to a legal, dignified, safe and reliable means of dying so that they do not have to choose a horrific suicide that causes great suffering to the person in question, bystanders and family.

In doing so, they should be able to openly seek and receive support from their loved ones, so that they do not die in loneliness or with fear of persecution from loved ones.

Assisted suicide, according to the NVVE, should not only be reserved for a physician, but should also be possible by relatives or other professionals. Help is not a crime and should not be prohibited.

Now what is the problem?

People with a deliberate persistent death wish, in whom there is no suffering with a medical cause, are not eligible for termination of life on demand or assisted suicide (euthanasia).

There is no legal, dignified, safe and reliable means of death available, which causes people with a deliberate persistent desire to die to live unhappily or to commit horrific suicide, causing great suffering to the person, bystanders and family. Suicide is not punishable; assisted suicide is at present.

As a result, people die in solitude, fearing persecution from loved ones. For people who cannot or do not want to prepare and carry out their suicide entirely on their own, there is no professional dying assistance (other than the doctor).

This includes moral help to reach a good decision, but also practical help in obtaining the means for a dignified death.

NVVE supports the principle that there should be a government-regulated reliable means of ending life that allows people to end their lives in a well-considered and dignified manner.

This would affirm the right to self-determination and prevent violent suicides, which are often traumatizing for loved ones and bystanders.

For NVVE, it is not established that Means X ensures a quick, dignified and painless death. Experts contradict each other.

For objective information on the pros and cons of various methods of careful suicide, NVVE refers to Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart’s The Peaceful Pill Handbook and B. Chabot’s book Uitweg.


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