Last week, Dutch newspapers report about a Dutch physician who committed suicide after he had been suspended from his job, pending examination of his involvement in a Euthanasia case. The Dutch Inspection for Health Care (the Inspection or the IGZ), an institution that oversees quality in health care with administrative powers or powers to bring cases to the Public Prosecution, had received reports about the physician’s inappropriate behaviour and the police had questioned him intensely. The reports awakened fear on Dutch soil, on both physicians and on the public’s side. It seemed hard to imagine that a Dutch physician would act inappropriately in the system that is firm from the inside, but so vulnerable for the outside. Why and how would someone pose a threat to the process?
Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS) legislation in the Netherlands or in Belgium regularly sparks controversial headlines in international newspapers: Headlines report on the increase in cases of Euthanasia or PAS: “Mobile death squads to kill sick and elderly in their own homes leads to surge in suicide rates in the Netherlands”, extension of grounds for requests: such as failed gender reassignment, and the possibilities of accessing euthanasia interventions. They seek to create fear about death squads and a vulnerable (elderly) population that is pressured into Euthanasia or that is euthanized involuntarily. Hardly any attention is paid to the process around Euthanasia.
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