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Netherlands: MP wants to allow euthanasia for healthy over-75s

September 2020

Pia Dijkstra MP SOURCE Pepijn Leupen
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A new law is being proposed in the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia for healthy people over the age of 75.

The bill, proposed by Pia Dijkstra MP, would allow over-75s with no medical problems to apply for an ‘end-of-life supervisor’.

In the Netherlands, euthanasia is already legal if the person is deemed to be experiencing ‘hopeless and unbearable suffering’.

Critics of Dijkstra’s bill say it will undermine the medical profession’s duty of care to the elderly.

Harry van der Molen, an MP for Christian Democrat Appeal, said: ‘In the Netherlands there has been a lot of discussion about whether older people will be treated if they go to hospital with a coronavirus infection, and a lot of older people felt pushed aside just by the idea that they would not be helped.

‘This law gives a signal that the easiest solution is that you are given the option to put an end to your life.’

Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the ChristenUnie party, said that a debate about euthanasia during the coronavirus pandemic was ‘extraordinary’ and something that would lead to ‘increased insecurity and worry’ for elderly people.