Skip to content

Dutch assisted suicide watchdog warns Britain against 'slippery slope' towards widespread killing of the sick

Printer-friendly version

European assisted suicide watchdog, Professor Theo Boer, has warned MPs and Peers that the legalisation of assisted suicide would be the start of a 'slippery slope' towards the widespread killing of sick and vulnerable people in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the Second Reading of Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill (see above), Professor Boer said his warnings were based on the Netherlands’ experience of legalising assisted suicide ten years ago, which has seen the number of deaths double in the past six years. 

‘Default mode of dying’

He noted that assisted suicide in the Netherlands had gone from being a last resort to now being a normal procedure, with the practice on the way to becoming a 'default mode' of dying for cancer patients.

The Professor, who formerly supported the provision of assisted suicide, said: "I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a very different view."

"No safeguards in place"

Welcoming the comments, Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: “What Dr Boer says comes as no surprise. An assisted dying law is playing with fire, especially when there are no safeguards in place. Lord Falconer’s bill just isn’t fit for purpose.”

Disability rights campaigner Baroness Jane Campbell said: “As happens in Holland, Lord Falconer’s bill could end up encompassing significant numbers of seriously ill people.”

Read more (Daily Mail) >

Subscribe to our emails