As an autistic advocate I’m appalled that several people with autism and intellectual disabilities have been legally euthanized in the Netherlands in recent years because they said they could not lead normal lives. #autism #autistic #netherlands #advocate pic.twitter.com/J9QV7vLQV3
— Kerry Magro – Public Speaker & Autism Advocate (@Kerrymagro) June 28, 2023
You can’t just kill autistic people!
I guess you can!
Several Dutch citizens who had autism or other intellectual disabilities have died by physician-assisted suicide in recent years after doctors determined their afflictions were untreatable obstacles to a normal life, researchers found.
Nearly 40 people who identified as autistic or intellectually disabled were legally euthanized in the Netherlands between 2012 and 2021, according to a Kingston University investigation of Dutch euthanasia cases.
Five people younger than 30 who were killed at their own request cited autism as the sole or a major reason for their decision to end their lives, the UK study found.
With those cases, experts have questioned whether the law allowing doctors to kill suicidal patients via lethal injections has strayed too far from its initial intentions when passed in 2002.
In the roughly 10-year period the study focused on, nearly 60,000 people decided to die via euthanasia in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch government’s euthanasia review committee. Of those deaths, the committee has released documents and data on 900 cases in an effort of transparency.
Kingston University researchers looked at those 900 cases and found 39 of them had autism or an intellectual disability. Of the 39, 18 were younger than 50 years old.
Many of the patients cited a number of mental, physical and age-related ailments as the reason for ending their lives — including unbearable loneliness.
Eight people, however, named the sole cause of their suffering as factors related to their intellectual disability — such as social isolation, a lack of coping strategies, an inability to adjust to change or oversensitivity to stimuli.
One of the report’s main authors Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care specialist at Kingston University, questioned the ethics of ending the lives of the autistic.
“There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering,” she said. “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?”
Everyone has a right to live.
When did it become normal for the government to just start killing citizens?
That kind of snuck up on us, no?