Indra’s blog; About Euthanasia
So today’s blog is a bit of a controversial one. And I know as a blogger you should try not to be controversial or have a real opinion that could upset your readers. However, this is called Indra’s blog and you certainly don’t have to agree with me, but as you all know I am very Dutch. Proud to be Dutch. Loving my life in the UK, don’t get me wrong. This is my home and I have been a resident for over 10 years now, but in my core I am Dutch. I think most of you know how the Dutch are, my staff certainly do 😉 …. Bit straight to the point and quite liberal thinking. So, having grown up in the Netherlands I can say I am quite a liberal thinker as well. Being a liberal thinker to me means you don’t have to be part of something to agree with it and to support the people who it concerns. It does not have to be about yourself to support something, something that means a lot to other people. The Netherlands is known for being an early supporter of a lot of controversial subjects in the world and legalising these; From supporting the whole LGBT-community, same sex marriage, abortion to euthanasia. There we go… still illegal in the UK. …. so I discovered to my surprise this week.
This week was a tough week. A family friend in the Netherlands who has been fighting cancer for several years passed away. He used to come up to have his holidays in the UK and would stay with us for a few weeks each year. Being in the country side, loving outdoor life, seeing my husband at work…. He just really enjoyed being here. Now his life became very limited due to the cancer and all the things he normally enjoyed were gradually taken away from him, he decided the time was right. He did not want to see it out until the bitter end. For him, the end was there. So, this week he made his final decision and his request was granted.
My husband quickly flew to the Netherlands to say his final goodbyes. That was difficult, knowing this is your friend’s last day and they are still of sane mind. And you can talk to him like you would normally talk to him, but knowing it will definitely be the last time you speak, you laugh, you hug, you take a picture and you say goodbye together. But you also know this is the end of his suffering, this is his choice and his choice alone. You know he does not have to hurt himself to get his choice be legal, but he will gently be brought to sleep and professionals will make sure all is done in good order. I think that is OK. I think that is fair.
I know it is not for everybody, but if it is for you and it is your choice and yours’ alone that should be your right. I spoke to several people about this right this week and when people heard the background they were understanding of his choice. I also learnt that a major reason not to legalise in the UK would be that people were afraid it would be done to them without their consent or because money was involved. I can assure you that if it is well regulated that that is not possible. There are several care requirements in the Dutch Euthanasia Law; Euthanasia and assisted suicide are only legal if all 6 due diligence requirements in the euthanasia law are met:
- – The doctor is convinced that the patient’s request for euthanasia was voluntary and well-considered.
- – There is talk of hopeless and unbearable suffering of the patient.
- – The doctor informed the patient about his situation and his prospects.
- – The doctor and the patient came to the conclusion that there was no reasonable other solution.
- – The doctor has consulted at least one other independent doctor who has seen the patient. This doctor gave his judgment in writing about the situation, based on the due care criteria.
- – The doctor has carefully completed the termination of life or assisted suicide.
Fortunately, I have not come across it in my personal life until this week. I hope I will not come across it again; Only because I hope nobody will suffer that much to have to make that decision. However, it is a well thought out process and it is not lightly executed, but for those people that really suffer and request it, they will have access to it in the Netherlands. And I think that is right. And it should be a legal right. Also, here in the UK.
Sweet Dreams Jan!