Dutch court acquits suicide counsellor of breaking the law

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:228
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    In a controversial ruling a Dutch court has acquitted a “suicide counsellor” of helping a 54 year old woman kill herself, judging that he had not actively initiated or directed her death. The counsellor's advice on the quantity of drugs to be taken to be certain of death was judged to be within legal boundaries.

    Ton Vink, a 53 year old philosopher, is attached to the Horizon Foundation, an organisation that offers help to people who choose to commit suicide. The woman rang him first in August 2003, 10 months before her suicide.

    The two had several contacts, through letters and telephone, to discuss suicide. In January she faxed him a letter listing …

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