New Alcohol Addiction Cure: Legal Suicide!

Physician-assisted suicide is advocated because of extreme suffering but is now being used as an alcohol addiction cure.

So-called euthanasia (“good death”), has been used as an alcohol addiction cure in the Netherlands. Since there are certain people in this country who want us to be more like Europe, this is bad news for us as well as the Dutch.

Suicide has always been one of the horrible consequences of alcoholism. It is perverse to act like suicide is a proper medical response to alcoholism. But such common sense seems to be missing in the Netherlands.

The Independent reports on the recently killed Mark Langedijk,

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A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic.


He was killed by lethal injection at his parents’ home on 14 July, according to an account of the ordeal written by his brother and published in the magazine Linda.

The Netherlands introduced a euthanasia law 16 years ago, which is available to people in “unbearable suffering” with no prospect of improvement.

Do you think, two decades ago when advocates were campaigning for the suicide law, that they spoke of encouraging and assisting addicts in dying? I highly doubt it. Anyone suggesting the law would lead to such consequences would have been treated as a liar.

But now death is not a risk of alcoholism but an alcohol addiction cure.

In this case, his alcoholism had only been recognized for eight years.

Eventually, Mr Langedijk told his family he wanted to die, but the family originally took the news with “a grain of salt”.

But his brother had no second thoughts. His application for euthanasia was approved by a doctor from the Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands.

On the day of his death, he “laughed, drank, smoked, ate ham and cheese sandwiches and soup with meatballs” until his doctor arrived at his parents’ home at 3.15pm.

His doctor explained the procedure, before telling Mr Landedijk to get into bed and to stay calm.

At this point, they all “started crying, my parents, everyone actually, even Mark”.

“We cried, told each other that we loved each other, that it would be all right, that we would care for each other, that we would see each other again, we held each other,” he said. “If it was not so terrible, it would have been nice.

“Mark’s eyes turned away, he sighed deeply. His last. Dr Marijke injected the third syringe. His face changed, lost color. My little brother was dead.”

People involved in substance abuse are often depressed. The depression may have led them to become addicted or the addiction may cause them to be depressed. Whichever is true, depressed people are not in a condition to rationally evaluate their lives.

Essentially, doctor-assisted suicide has come to mean that a panel will put a stamp of approval on all the traditional reasons that depressed people give to justify suicide. Traditionally, police, first responders, and doctors would intervene when an addict attempted suicide and tell him that his life was worth living. “Suicide is not the answer,” they would say.

Now, rather than resisting the voice of depression, the government-medical complex is amplifying it. They are putting a stamp of approval on the self-pity of an addict.

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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