‘His end was so peaceful,’ recalls his daughter Bregje, 37, a writer. ‘Once my father had decided on euthanasia, he was relieved. He was looking forward to the date he would die. In the last few days he was able to say goodbye to his family, his friends, to talk about old times.’
Andre was not a campaigner or activist for mercy killings. But he knew that, in his home country, he could seize the option which the law gave him and choose to die if he wished.Hurrah! Right?
If campaigners have their way, the law will be changed here, too, to allow those who wish to end their life to do so at a time of their choosing. For opponents of euthanasia, this raises grave moral questions, as well as concerns that unscrupulous relatives might take advantage of elderly family members — whose estates they might covet — by encouraging them to end their lives.Oh, pft! These people are just standing in the way of choice!
Even physically healthy people suffering from depression have been killed by doctors under Holland’s right-to-die laws.
And a 54-year-old woman with personality and eating disorders is reported to have received lethal injections at a ‘Life End’ clinic in Amsterdam. Indeed, according to Holland’s health minister, several right-to-die deaths have involved psychiatric patients.Hmmm...
Shockingly, in Holland I also spoke to the family of a 47-year-old woman with tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears, who ended her life last March with the help of an ‘Life End’ clinic.
Gaby Olthuis, a divorcee, was a brilliant clarinet player, but said she suffered ‘24-hour noise’ in her head, ‘like a train screeching or someone scratching their nails on a chalk board’. She explained: ‘I look healthy from the outside, but inside I am being tortured.’
To end her suffering, she was given a lethal potion to drink by one of the clinic’s doctors at her home. Shockingly, she left behind two teenagers, a boy of 13 and girl of 15.OK, still keen on euthanasia?
Because I was in favour. Who can argue with allowing this for people like Andre? But in today's climate of selfish insistence on 'rights' and disregard of responsibilities, can we really prevent people like Gaby from taking up the option?
And remember - the people cheering this would be the first to screech 'hate speech!' if you suggested mentally-ill killers be put down like mad dogs....