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October 17, 2021

The Huib Drion Letter: 30 Years Later

When former Dutch Supreme Court Judge, Huib Drion, wrote a short but pointed letter to the editor of the newspaper, NRC, little could he have known what his legacy would be.

Drion argued that all older people should have a right to terminate their lives at a time of their choosing.

He argued that this was a separate social need to that of euthanasia for the seriously ill.

Drion bemoaned that older people like himself were ill-equipped to take this step in way that was peaceful and dignified. He noted that while doctors and pharmacists had access to the means, everyone else would be forced to jumping in a canal or in front of train; methods that he said did not bear thinking about.

Fast forward to today and recent weeks have seen the arrest of the chairman of Dutch organisation CLW.

Listeners may remember this is the group behind the Middel X powder (covered in the August Podcast); the group that is attempting to force Dutch law to take account of the need of older, rational adults and their right to a self determined death.

This podcast is wide-ranging and both celebrates and comiserates the Drion letter: what does progress look like and are we there yet?