Socialist party links govt.'s plan for assisted suicide to poor nursing home care; MPs outraged

SP members Lilian Marijnissen and Renske Leitjen think there is a link between the quality of nursing home care and elderly people's desire to make an end to their life, they said on Twitter in response to to government's plan to allow assisted suicide at the end of a "full life". Other parliamentary parties were outraged, NOS reports. 

The SP rejects this proposal by the cabinet. The party is worried that a small group's desire to end their lives will put pressure on others to do the same. "We must ensure that older people can enjoyed a dignified and well cared for old age. A society in which they have a place and with excellent care, if it is necessary", SP leader Emile Roemer said. "Unfortunately this government has done the opposite, it made significant cutbacks. That led to extremely atrophied care."

"Worrying. Schippers is on a slippery slope. The elderly care is not in order, many elderly people are lonely and then they make ending your life easier?" Marijnissen said on Twitter. Leijten added: "Let us not deny that there is a large group that says: if I can not have a dignified old age, I don't want to anymore."

In a debate on nursing hoe care on Thursday, D66 MP Vera Bergkamp accused the SP of suggesting that the government wants to help the elderly to die, because it is more convenient for the government's cutback policies. Bergkamp called this reprehensible and unworthy of the SP, who she believes crossed an integrity line. The parliamentarian added that the SP is showing disrespect to people who want more space for autonomy.

VVD parliamentarian Sjoerd Potters called the SP's statements tasteless and disgusting. PvdA spokesperson Marith Volp believes the SP should not have made a link between budget cuts and assisted suicide and calls it "deeply sad" that the party did. GroenLinks parliamentarian Linda Voortman pointed out that even with perfect care, there will still be people who want a dignified death.