Dutch mobile euthanasia units to make house calls
New scheme called ‘Life End’ will respond to sick people whose own doctors have refused to help them end their lives at home
Kate Connolly in Berlin
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 1 March 2012 11.45 EST
A controversial system of mobile euthanasia units that will travel around the country to respond to the wishes of sick people who wish to end their lives has been launched in the Netherlands.
The scheme, which started on Thursday , will send teams of specially trained doctors and nurses to the homes of people whose own doctors have refused to carry out patients’ requests to end their lives.
The launch of the so-called Levenseinde, or “Life End”, house-call units – whose services are being offered to Dutch citizens free of charge – coincides with the opening of a clinic of the same name in The Hague, which will take patients with incurable illnesses as well as others who do not want to die at home.
The scheme is an initiative by the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVVE), a 130,000-member euthanasia organisation that is the biggest of its kind in the world.
“From Thursday, the Life End clinic will have mobile teams where people who believe they are eligible for euthanasia can register,” Walburg de Jong, a NVVE spokesman, said.
“If they do comply, the teams will be able to carry out the euthanasia at patients’ homes should their regular doctors be unable or refuse to help them,” he added.
The Netherlands was the first country to legalise euthanasia in 2002 and its legislation on the right to die is considered to be the most liberal in the world.
But doctors cannot be forced to comply with the wishes of patients who request the right to die and many do refuse, which was what prompted NVVE to develop a system to fill the gap.
Sick people or their relatives can submit their applications via telephone or email and if the patient’s request fulfils a number of strict criteria, the team is then dispatched.
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- When will this insanity turn up here in America?
- Once here, how long will it be before their “services” expand to post-natal abortion?