THE HAGUE, Netherlands ( Associated Press) – A Dutch court on Wednesday upheld a ban on assisted suicide, a blow to activists who see it as a violation of their right to decide to end their lives. Huh.
The District Court in The Hague rejected the activists’ argument that the ban violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The right to decide about the end of one’s life is indeed protected”, the court said in a statement. “However, this right to self-determination does not extend to the point where there is a right to receive assisted suicide.”
Frits Spangenberg, president of the Last Will cooperative group, which brought the case with 29 plaintiffs, said he was disappointed by the decision but vowed to keep fighting. He said he would review the verdict with lawyers before deciding whether to appeal.
“I’m not surprised, but I was hoping for more perspective,” Spangenberg said in a telephone interview.
The government did not comment on the decision.
The Netherlands was the first country to legalize euthanasia. A 2002 law allows doctors to end patients’ lives under dire circumstances, either by administering lethal doses of drugs or by administering drugs to the patient.
Assisted suicide, in which a non-medical person supplies a lethal substance for a person to consume, remains illegal.
The Dutch Association for the Voluntary End of Life also criticized the decision, arguing in a statement that it “preserves a situation in which the government deprives its citizens of the right to die with the respect of their free will”. “