Stop the Shadows news

Loneliness recognised as a valid reason for euthanasia

A lethal injection

People who feel chronically lonely are now eligible for euthanasia in the Netherlands according to a new study.

Legal regulations for those wishing to end their lives have been extended for individuals living with autism, a mental health condition or loneliness according to research conducted by Kingston University's Irene Tuffrey-Wijne.

Ms Tuffrey-Wijne group studied 900 euthanasia cases released by the Dutch euthanasia review committee.

Research found 30 cases were from people who felt chronically lonely causing “unbearable pain”, 39 from individuals with autism or “intellectually disabled” and eight stating factors linked to autism or intellectual disability were the only cause of suffering.

Five of the euthanised people were aged under 30, including a man in his twenties who was unable to socialise with others because he was bullied throughout childhood.

“There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering,” Tuffrey-Wijne told Morning Star, “but is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?”

Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre said it was “abhorrent” autistic people were choosing to end their lives without being offered professional support.

Dutch psychiatrist Dr Bram Sizoo expressed concern young people with autism were being asked to die, the expert went on to say they believe some were  “almost excited at the prospect of death … they think this will be the end of their and their family’s problems.”

ABLE2UK’s Stop The Shadows campaign aims to spread awareness of the 61% of disabled people who feel chronically lonely* to support the cause please use #StopTheShadows on social media.

[ Eighty six percent of disabled people support a change to the assisted dying law in the UK ]

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