Christian party leader tells U.S. news that Dutch doctors kill you
It seems that Christian party SGP is extending its fight against extending the Dutch euthanasia law to the outside world. SGP leader Kees van der Staaij published an opinion piece in American newspaper The Wall Street Journal under the headline: "In the Netherlands, the doctor will kill you".
"Is the day coming that it will be normal for old people to take a pill and simply disappear?" Van der Staaij wrote, according to the Volkskrant. According to him, the Netherlands is on a slippery slope.
The SGP is vehemently against a D66 proposal to allow the option for assisted suicide for people at the end of a "full" or "completed" life. Last year Minister Edit Schippers of Public Health supported this proposal.
In The Wall Street Journal, Van der Staaij writes that the Netherlands' "euthanasia culture" is getting out of hand. He mentions a case about a dementia patient who only said "huppakee weg" and got euthanasia. He translates that to "upsy-daisy, let's go". "The end of life clinic and her husband interpreted her words as: I want to die", he writes. According to him, that would've been unthinkable a decade ago. Van der Staaij also mentions a case in which a dementia patient was slipped a sedative before the euthanasia medicine was administered.
Bit by bit the Netherlands is sliding towards a culture in which elederly people, depressed people and weak-minded people will be removed from society with a pill, according to the SGP leader. "The pressing question is where the slope ends and the abyss begins."
Van der Staaij also mentions a report by the Schnabel committee that concluded that the euthanasia law does not have to be expanded. According to the committee, the current law provides enough legal options for people who feel their life is complete and want to die. And he referred to "hundreds of doctors" who spoke out against the D66 proposal.
Dutch parliament is somewhat divided on the matter. Especially the Christian parties are against extending the euthanasia legislation. In the current negotiations for forming a new Dutch government between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, assisted suicide at the end of a full life is one of the most difficult points of discussion between D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers.
The SGP has three seats in parliament and is not part of the government formation talks.
The Wall Street Journal describes Van der Staaij only as a "member of the Dutch parliament". Van der Staaij himself also does not mention his Christian convictions.