The Dutch don’t enforce their “protective” euthanasia guidelines in any meaningful way if the doctor does the killing. But if a non physician assists a suicide, there will be a (minor) consequence. Several years ago, for example, a nurse assisted a suicide and received a two month sentence. Now, a layperson has received a similar sentence for the same crime. From the story:
A Dutch court sentenced the chairman of an assisted suicide lobby group Friday to 10 months in jail, eight suspended, for helping a sick, 80-year-old woman kill herself.
The woman died in November 2007 after taking a lethal dose of phenobarbital, which prosecutors said was supplied to her children by the lobbyist after doctors refused to help her. Her children helped administer the drug, but were not charged.
The lobbyist, who is not named in court documents, was found guilty of having contravened Dutch euthanasia rules, which determine that only a doctor may perform such acts.
This story illustrates the power of the culture of death. Family members encourage killing as an answering to (sometime their own) suffering. Even if a doctor thinks the case does not warrant euthanasia, activists are more than happy to get involved.
Still, there might be a minor deterrent affect here. But if that is the point, why keep the criminal’s name a secret?