Euthanasia in Holland slid even further down the slippery slope this year as news breaks about a 41 year-old man who was permitted to end his life by lethal injection rather than continue to live as an alcoholic.
The Daily Mail is reporting on the story of Mark Langedijk who died at the hands of a physician on July 14, 2016, after an eight year battle with alcoholism.
According to Mark’s brother, Marcel, in a story published in the magazine, Linda, he and his brother and sister enjoyed a happy and healthy childhood in the eastern Dutch province of Overijssel. It wasn’t until eight years ago that the family noticed Mark had a drinking problem.
“At first we did what most people do: help,” Marcel said.
His brother saw psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and other health care professionals who all tried to help but to no avail.
“Through eight grueling years and 21 hospital and rehab admissions they [Mark’s parents] continued to believe in a happy ending,” Marcel said, but each time his brother began drinking again.
“My parents especially have done everything humanly possible to save Mark,” he said and explained how they adopted his two children, took him in when his marriage finally collapsed, helped him find accommodation, arranged rehab, gave him money, support and unconditional love.
But nothing worked.
Eventually, Mark decided that nothing could be done and the best solution would be to die.
However, his brother had kept a diary and used it to prove that his life had deteriorated to “a hopeless cocktail of pain, drink, loneliness and sorrow.”
Eventually, his told his GP: “I want to die, enough is enough.”
He applied for euthanasia and was approved by a doctor from Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands, which is the medical body charged with providing expertise on the country’s controversial euthanasia law.
Mark chose July 14 as the date for his death. The event took place at his parents’ home where he was seen drinking beer, eating ham and cheese sandwiches and smoking cigarettes until 3:15 when the GP arrived to administer the fatal injection.
The doctor explained that she would first administer a saline solution followed by a sleep-inducing drug just before she injected him with a drug that would stop his heart.
When the family heard this, they all started crying, including Mark.
After drinking a last glass of wine, the doctor told Mark to “take it easy” and asked, “Are you 100 percent sure you want this?” She then administered the injections that ended his life.
The case has sparked outrage around the world about how the country’s 16 year-old euthanasia laws were spiraling out of control as regulations are expanded to include ever wider groups of people.
For example, the country recently allowed a woman in her 20’s who was suffering after being a victim of child sex abuse to kill herself rather than continue to life with her post traumatic stress and other problems associated with the abuse, such as social isolation and loneliness.
Fiona Bruce, a British MP and co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group called Mark Langedijk’s death “deeply concerning and yet another reason why assisted suicide and euthanasia must never be introduced into the UK.”
She continued: “What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction – which can be provided – not to be euthanized. It is once again a troubling sign of how legalized euthanasia undermines in other countries the treatment and help the most vulnerable should receive.”
Another British MP named Robert Flello told the Mail: “Yet again Holland demonstrates it is a dangerous place to have any physical or mental illness, to be struggling with any life challenges, or just to differ from what they might call normal. The state-authorized killing of their citizens is out of control and is, quite frankly, terrifying.”
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