A 28-year-old resident of Eindhoven was arrested in July for allegedly assisting suicide by selling suicide powder. The trade in such drugs has continued even after the arrest. A fellow of Alex S. commented that the demand is high.
According to the Public Prosecution Service (OM), Alex S. may have sold the suicide powder to hundreds of people. At least six of them have taken the drug to end their lives, causing the judiciary to suspect him of assisted suicide. He is incarcerated pending the case.
S. is a member of Cooperative Last Will (CLW) which aims to provide adult members with resources that can help ending their life. Omroep Brabant spoke to Anne* (67) who is also a member of CLW. Anne is not surprised that S. had many customers. From her own experience, she knows how many people are open to a self-chosen death, and how difficult it is to arrange this through regular channels.
S. certainly did not have a monopoly. A web shop from Almere offers a material on Marktplaats with the same effect. That is not banned, as long as it is not supplied to people who intend to end their life. The website does show a warning: it can be fatal. The trader also states that extremely small quantity is delivered. Besides, the product is kept in a safe and the buyer only receives the pin code after receipt. The trader in ‘hobby chemicals’ does not have other products in its range.
There are also websites keeping track of which resources work well and which do not. For example, some powders can turn you blue, some other providers sell non-working stuff and lure customers with imaginative domain names that are easy to find via Google.
Useless and disrespectful
Anne herself does not have suicide powder at home, but knows that the demand for it is high. Also because she spent her working life at Catherina hospital in Eindhoven. “I have seen many times how it can go with people who are so sick that they want to die. Then I thought: this isn’t going to happen to me,” she says.
She disagrees that the suicide drug trade is illegal, but wishes it can be available in a safe, responsible manner. For example, in a locker like the store in Almere does. “In the hospital you see that people in the Netherlands are not allowed to die. It is their deepest and last wish, but for doctors it is not an option. It is so degrading, useless and disrespectful.”
Politics sees little desire for changes. “That’s because of the Christian parties, they don’t want people to be able to decide about their own death.” Anne is firm:”Let others make their own choice!” She is not concerned about impulsive accidents if the powder is simply and legally available: “You have to arrange it neatly, not just give it to everyone and certainly not like now in a semi-illegal circuit.”
Talking about suicide thoughts helps and is also possible, for example, via the national helpline 113: www.113.nl or 0800-0113.
Source: Omroep Brabant