Thursday, June 29, 2023
The Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia in 2002 and recently expanded to include assisting in the death of children as young as 1-year-old. Belgium has allowed physician-assisted death for children since 2014.
Researchers have found that the Netherlands permitted five otherwise healthy individuals to seek legal euthanasia by citing autism as a factor. The study noted that doctors determined there was no prospect for improvement and no treatment available in these cases and that the intellectual disability prevented them from leading a normal life.
One record includes a woman in her 30s diagnosed with autism and borderline personality disorder, preventing her from connecting and maintaining relationships with others.
Palliative care specialist Irene Tuffrey-Wijne told reporters, “There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering… but is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them, and it’s just better to be dead?”
For more information see Timonthy H.J. Nerozzi “Netherland euthanizing autistic and intellectually handicapped people, researcher finds” Fox News, June 28, 2023.