Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
"The opponents of euthanasia say that every human being has only one wish: to survive and to live. So if a patient asks to end his life there can be only one explanation: she or he must be depressed. And, indeed, these doctors prescribe anti-depressant drugs in high doses. But, in my opinion, these doctors are unobservant and seem to be more preoccupied with their own concerns than with serving the needs of their patients. To send a terminally ill patient to a psychiatrist is an insult...
The way we have legalised euthanasia in the Netherlands may be a good example for other countries. After all these years, it is in my honest opinion that every doctor has the duty to help his patients to die with dignity and that he has the right, after thorough deliberation, to do euthanasia at the request of a patient and in his interest, knowing of his responsibility to himself, the patient and the law.
To carry out euthanasia is an emotional and difficult decision. I have seen my patients as friends, and every time I was sad and satisfied after euthanasia: sad to lose a friend and satisfied that I could end the suffering of that friend."
"Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Doctor's Perspective," Giving Death a Helping Hand, Eds. Dieter Birnbacher and Edgar Dahl, 2008
Experts MDs, JDs (Lawyers), PhDs and Religious Leaders with significant involvement in end-of-life issues. [Because end-of-life dilemmas require medical, ethical, legal, and in some case religious considerations, we view MDs, PhDs with a bio-ethical focus, and JDs/religious leaders with significant involvement as "experts" in the euthanasia debate.] [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Dutch euthanasia activist
Honorary Associate, Rationalist International
Member, Euthanasia Committee and Pain Committee, Health Council of The Netherlands
Honorary Associate Medical Staff, Reinier de Graaf Hospital
Honorary Associate, Dutch Society for Voluntary Euthanasia
Honorary Associate, Dutch Society of Anesthesiology
Health Profesional, 2006 World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies
President, Society for the Scientific Study of Rational Suicide
Founder and First President, Dutch Society for the Study of Pain
Former President, Dutch Society of Anesthesiology
Humanist Laureate, International Academy of Humanism, Council for Secular Humanism
Recipient, Humanist Award, International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
Recipient, Janet Good Memorial Award, Hemlock Society, USA, 2000
Recipient, Officer Oranje Nassau Royal decoration, 1994