Holland – Another "ground breaking court decision" The Genie is out of the Bottle

In another ground-breaking court decision the Dutch Appeals Court has ruled that a doctor does not have to be involved to allow assisted suicide. Albert Heringa assisted his mother in 2008 by helping her overdose herself. Judge Anhem has ruled that Heringa followed his unwritten moral duty to help his 99-year-old mother commit suicide.

Fiona Zonneveld of the Dutch Association for Voluntary Euthanasia said the decision is a step in the direction they wanted to go. Originally countries passed euthanasia laws to allow people with terminal illnesses to choose assisted suicide at the end of their lives. Since then, Holland has moved down the slippery slope and allowed people with chronic physical conditions, later for mental conditions and, more recently, for babies when treatment is considered “medically futile”.  One is reminded of the case of Tom Mortier’s mother in Belgium who was euthanized for “untreatable depression”.  Mortier was not informed of his mother’s condition until the day after her death. In the words of Theo Boer: “I used to be a supporter of legislation (to legalize euthanasia). But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a different view. At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”   _67084273_euthanasia-splProfessor Boer was a member of a Regional Review Committee for the Dutch government which first motivated for and later regulated euthanasia in The Netherlands. He had written in 2007: “There doesn’t have to be a ‘slippery slope’ when it comes to euthanasia. A good euthanasia law, in combination with the euthanasia review procedure, provides the warrants for a stable and relatively low number of cases”. All this sounds so similar to the arguments for euthanasia in South Africa. Are we about to let the genie out of the bottle like Holland has?]]>