“These calls to create British euthanasia based laws on Dutch ones have been made in the same week that the Dutch announced that they are considering mobile units to kill people in their own homes. 1,000 of the 4,000 euthanasia deaths in Holland each year are now done without the patient’s consent. Not content with this, the Dutch say that 80 per cent of people with dementia or mental illnesses are being ‘missed’ by the country’s euthanasia laws. They say that the death-on-wheels mobile units are necessary because some GPs have refused to administer lethal drugs to their patients.
“In Britain the argument has increasingly been manipulated by this same warped view of human worth and human dignity.
“Chillingly, Baroness Warnock has already said that the sick are “wasting people’s lives” because of the care they require: “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives – your family’s lives – and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service.” Suggesting that we have a “duty to die” she said “I think that’s the way the future will go, putting it rather brutally, you’d be licensing people to put others down.”
This isn’t giving people “dignity in dying”. Sending out mobile units to administer lethal injections, to “put people down”, will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable. It diminishes the dignity and humanity of the sick and elderly and diminishes those of us who condone it. Rather than imitating the Dutch, Britain needs to defend and care for the sick and elderly and put our energy into compassionate care, and practical loving support – let’s demand “dignity in living” with the same fervour as those who want to license the routine killing of the most vulnerable in society.”
The Dutch government is considering plans to use mobile medical teams which would administer euthanasia to people in their homes.
The units, dubbed ‘grim reapers on wheels’ by critics, will be called in to kill patients when their own GPs refuse to administer lethal drugs.
The mobile teams of doctors and nurses would be sent out from a clinic following a referral from the patient’s doctor.
The proposals were revealed by Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers during a debate on euthanasia in the Dutch parliament.
In answer to questions from Christian Union MPs she said that mobile units ‘for patients who meet the criteria for euthanasia but whose doctors are unwilling to carry it out’ was worthy of consideration.
‘If the patient thinks it desirable, the doctor can refer him or her to a mobile team or clinic,’ the minister wrote.
The mobile units are being aggressively promoted by Dutch euthanasia campaign groups who want to expand the eligibility criteria for euthanasia and also to open facilities specifically for euthanasia along the pattern of the Dignitas centre in Switzerland.
They claim that 80 per cent of people with dementia or mental illnesses were being ‘missed’ by the country’s euthanasia laws.
They are supported by the Dutch Medical Association which this summer issued guidance effectively saying even people who complained of being lonely could qualify for euthanasia if it constitutes ‘unbearable and lasting suffering’.