The Dutch government has announced plans to legalise assisted suicide for people who simply feel they have “completed life”, but are not terminally ill.
The country’s health and justice ministers said in a letter to parliament this week that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them.”
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise assisted suicide in 2002, but only for people who were diagnosed as terminally ill.
The Mail reports that at the moment, someone wishing to die must submit a request to a doctor who must agree they are either terminally ill, suffering “unbearably” or, more controversially, suffering mentally.
An ethics committee will then make a decision, usually within a week.
Increasing numbers of Dutch people suffering mental illness are asking doctors to help them take their own lives, with assisted suicides now accounting for four per cent of the country’s annual mortality rate.
One Amsterdam clinic even sends mobile euthanasia units out across the country to help people kill themselves in their own homes.
Countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands have led the way in allowing doctors to help people commit suicide.
Belgium recently introduced a controversial law that lets children of any age request assisted suicide. The law, passed after a heated debate, applies to children “in a hopeless medical situation of constant and unbearable suffering that cannot be eased and which will cause death in the short term”.
A 17-year-old became the first minor to die under the law in September this year.
Britain’s Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the legalisation of assisted suicide last year, with 336 MPs voting against the measure, compared to 118 in favour.
Breitbart reported in May on a controversial initiative by a “right-to-die” group in the United States to target Black and Latino communities.
The group Compassion & Choices said that African-American communities “often have the highest rates of illness, yet are least likely to complete advance directives or discuss medical intervention with loved ones”.
Black Christian leader Bishop E.W. Jackson told Breitbart News: “It is bizarre and evil, frankly. These people have a very, very warped view – frankly a disgustingly low view – of the value of the lives of black and poor and minority people.”