Dutch Who Feel 'Life Is Complete' May Get Right to Die
Not terminally ill? No problem, say ministers
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2016 10:00 AM CDT
Doctors are seen at a hospital in Brussels.   (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

(Newser) – Already, the Netherlands allows assisted suicide for those who are terminally ill or living with "unbearable suffering." Soon, people who feel they have nothing more to do in life might get the same freedom. In a letter to Parliament on Wednesday, the country's health and justice ministers wrote that elderly people—an exact age wasn't given—with "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," reports Reuters. They hope to draft a law by the end of next year, though a commission found the extension to the euthanasia policy to be excessive.

A group for elderly people likewise calls it "unnecessary and undesirable," reports the AP. Almost 4% of Dutch deaths in 2015 came under the euthanasia law, expanded since 2012 to include those suffering from certain mental illnesses and dementia. Still, "the Cabinet is of the opinion that a request for help (in dying) from people who suffer unbearably and have no hope without an underlying medical reason can be a legitimate request," the ministers say. The proposed law will lay out the need for checks, reviews, and supervision and will be vetted by a "death assistance provider," the health minister adds. (A child was just euthanized in Belgium.)
 

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