In the Netherlands, a clinic that provides euthanasia for people whose doctors won’t sign off on it has ignited a debate over whether allowing psychiatric patients to undergo assisted suicide is acceptable:
Clinic Director Pleiter thinks giving psychiatric patients a chance at assisted suicide is important. “We are dealing with a group of patients that have no other place to go, that are also being ignored by psychiatry,” he said. “We are looking at their requests seriously, we treat them in all fairness. I believe it was a deliberate choice for the lawmakers to offer space legally, to which both patients with physical as well as psychological problems can turn.”
But where does one draw the line? Because these patients are not physically ill, the evaluations of independent psychiatrists are under scrutiny. Does this mean any person suffering from serious depression can shop around until he or she finds someone willing to help with suicide? And euthanasia is not only for old people. How young can you be and still get legal help if you want to die? How far should society go to overcome the biologically inbuilt threshold that makes it hard to take one’s own life by aiding someone to do so?
The Dish’s thread on suicide is here.