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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Euthanasia in Holland

Andrew and Dora

Andre Verhoeven lived in a town south of Amsterdam and worked as a teacher in the nearby secondary school.  He looked forward to retirement at 65 and planned to travel the world with his wife Dora.

But when he was 64, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia, and told there was no cure.  He became paralysed from the neck down and was moved into a care home.  He was so disabled that he had to ring for a nurse to lift a cup of water to his lips.  And when the doctor told him he would remain this way for the rest of his life, he took advantage of the law his country had made available to him.

Andrew told his family he was going to end his life and because the Netherlands had a law in place which made it possible, in January 2013, a GP gave him two injections - one to sedate him and the other to end his life.

Surrounded by his loving family and close friends, 3 seconds after the first injection, Andrew slipped into a coma, and two minutes after the second, he took his final breath.

If he had been an Australian resident, this would not have been possible - euthanasia is illegal in our country and Andrew would have been breaking the law.

So what is the government waiting for?