Dutch group endorses right to suicide for elderly - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dutch group endorses right to suicide for elderly


AMSTERDAM (AP) -- A campaign to give elderly Netherlands residents the right to assisted suicide has gathered more than 100,000 signatures, enough to force a parliamentary debate on the matter.

Though the idea faces a host of ethical and practical challenges, the campaign is noteworthy in a country that first legalized voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, under stringent conditions and medical supervision.

"Off Free Will" campaign spokeswoman Marie-Jose Grotenhuis says the group plans to bring the matter to a debate after national elections June 9. It is not likely to be drafted into law soon if ever.

Opinion polls show significant support for the idea, depending on how it is formulated. Many religious groups and the main Dutch doctor's association oppose it.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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