National Security & Defense

The Corner

Dutch MDs Help People Suicide by Starvation

Once the culture of death sinks its venomous teeth into a society, corruption follows upon corruption.

The medical sector is among the first to corrode. Witness the Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) that now advises its members to help “anyone” commit suicide by self-starvation. From, “Caring for People Who Choose Not to Eat or Drink so as to Hasten the End of Life” (my emphasis):

Consciously choosing not to eat and drink to hasten the end of life is a choice each and everyone can and may make for themselves. This decision does not require the individual to consult with a physician, a nurse, carer or any other party. The choice to hasten the end of the life is a drastic choice for both patients and those close to them. It is a choice between a life deemed unacceptable by the patient or the patient’s own choice to die.

There was a time when doctors were expected to prevent suicide. Now, they either have to do the deed themselves or apply medical means to make it easier to become dead. 

A desire for suicide by starvation transform the suicidal person into a “patient,” requiring a doctor to help:

On the one hand, this guide relates to people who are not suffering from an illness and, on the other hand, to patients whose condition is deemed to be an illness or a combination of illnesses and complaints by a physician. In the latter case a medical basis exists (KNMG 2011).2

People who are not ill, but who consult a physician, nurse or carer at any time concerning their intention to consciously choose not to eat and drink so as to hasten the end of their lives, become a ‘patient’ in the context of the physician-patient relationship…

The KNMG says that doctors must help people with that process:

The care provider’s actions are directed towards adequately and proportionately relieving the patient’s suffering. The care provider provides the patient information, prepares the patient for the process and guides him through it.

The care provider explores the patient’s request for assistance and informs the patient as thoroughly and objectively as possible about the expected course, and the advantages and disadvantages.

So, if someone decides for any reason, the doctor must make the self-killing easier to accomplish.

But, not to worry, it isn’t really suicide!

The committee wishes to underline, however, that consciously choosing not to eat and drink and suicide cannot be deemed equivalent because there may be relevant differences between the two. Suicide is associated with an active, violent, lonely and often impulsive act.

Gobbledygook. So, if the person shoots himself in the head, it’s suicide. If they starve to death with the help of a doctor it is not suicide? Please.

The KNMG engages in blatant age discrimination:

This guide emphatically advises patients under 60 years of age who are not suffering from a life-threatening illness against choosing not to eat and drink to hasten the end of life.

Older patients need not be advised against consciously choosing not to eat and drink, even if they are not suffering from a life-threatening illness or are still in a good state of health

It doesn’t say, however, that if the younger person decides to self-starve that the doctor should not assist. They are just to advise against it and then help if their opinion is disregarded.

No conscientious objection allowed!

If a care provider has conscientious objections to providing such care, he may assign the care for the patient concerned to a colleague care provider…A patient may, however, not be deprived of the care required when consciously choosing not to eat and drink.

In other words, the doctor must provide the palliation and other interventions that helps the patient go through the process of starvation and dehydration.

And if a patient asks to eat or drink? It might be denied anyway if considered delirium:

A patient who has stopped eating and drinking may become delirious and (unconsciously) ask for something to drink.

This may create a difficult situation, in which the parties concerned can fall back on the relevant agreements made during the preparatory phase and/or in a living will. It is crucial for care providers, particularly if a difficult situation arises, not to suddenly interfere with the agreements previously made with patients and offer them something to drink. If patients are offered fluid, they will fail to reach their desired goal.

For this reason it is essential to prevent and treat delirium using the non-pharmacological measures described in this guide, in addition to pursuing an anticipatory policy, combined ‘where necessary’ with medication policy in the event the patient becomes restless or delirious. 

How anyone can be called a “care giver” when they help someone starve themselves to death is beyond me.

Hippocrates would never stop throwing up.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More