Suicide consultant jailed for 12 months
7 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — A 73-year-old former 'suicide consultant' was jailed for 12 months in the Netherlands on Wednesday after being convicted of helping a 25-year-old woman to kill herself.
7 December 2005
AMSTERDAM — A 73-year-old former 'suicide consultant' was jailed for 12 months in the Netherlands on Wednesday after being convicted of helping a 25-year-old woman to kill herself.
J. H., from the Dutch town of Castricum, was one of the founders of assisted suicide organisation 'De Einder'.
A court in Alkmaar found him guilty of going too far in advising the woman on how to kill herself. He provided her with medication which taken in the right combination with other pills are fatal.
Far from being a dispassionate advisor, the court said, H. was a "catalyst" in the suicide process.
In particular, the three-judge panel voiced concern about the woman's presumed death wish. In a letter that was never sent, the woman expressed concern about the speed of the process. "Everything has now come very rapidly, there is no way back anymore," she wrote shortly after H. supplied her with the medication. She killed herself on 10 November 2003.
The court said in its judgement that H. was not the appropriate person to determine whether the woman was suffering intolerably in life. Therefore H.'s behaviour in relation to the woman was intolerable.
A suspended sentence would be pointless given his age, the judges said. His defence that he should be acquitted because he was not present at the suicide was rejected.
H. had not decided by Wednesday where to appeal his conviction and sentence. He has not worked as a consultant with 'De Einder' since September 2004.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news