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EUTHANASIA IN THE NETHERLANDS

EDM (Early Day Motion) 740A1: tabled on 14 March 1995

Tabled in the 1994-95 session.

This motion has been signed by 9 Members. It is an amendment to an existing motion.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

This is an amendment to an existing motion

This motion was originally tabled by Mrs Marion Roe on 07 March 1995. This is amendment number 1.

View details of the original motion

Suggested amendment

leave out from 'House'to end and add 'welcomes the decision by BBC 2 to broadcast the Dutch TV programme Death on Request as a valuable addition to the important debate in the de-criminalisation of voluntary euthanasia in the United Kingdom; regrets the misrepresentation of the situation in the Netherlands by opponents of voluntary euthanasia as disingenuous and misleading; notes that the health care system in the Netherlands is far better funded than in the United Kingdom and consequently more responsive to the needs of patients in the final stages of their life; notes that in the Netherlands the doctor must discuss alternatives to euthanasia with the patient, that the doctor must consult another doctor for a second opinion about the diagnosis and prognosis, and that the doctor must be able to provide a written report containing all relevant medical details about the illness and death of the patient; understands that euthanasia and assisting a person to commit suicide remain a crminial offence in the Netherlands; notes that a doctor would be prosecuted if he/she did not follow the very strict procedures laid down in Dutch law; therefore confirms that it is never possible to carry out euthanasia in the Netherlands without a repeated specific request from the patient; and condemns the opponents of voluntary euthanasia for attempting to mislead public opinion by spreading inaccurate information.'.

Original motion text

That this House notes with interest that in March BBC 2 has arranged to broadcast the Dutch television programme 'Death on Request', which records a Dutch doctor administering a lethal injection to his terminally ill patient; is concerned that the BBC should accurately report the real situation in the Netherlands where in a substantial number of cases euthanasia is carried out without a request from the patients, where the hospice and specialist palliative care movement is very much less developed than in the United Kingdom with the result that patients may request euthanasia in the absence of effective specialist palliative care, and that as a result of the ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court, doctors in the Netherlands may practice euthanasia not only on the physically sick, but also the mentally ill and those who are simply depressed; and calls on the BBC to give a complete and balanced picture of the situation, including prime time for the discussion of the full experience of the slippery slope in the Netherlands and the work of the hospice movement.