Dutch Psychologist Gives Suicide Powder to More than 100 People, Says 'I Don't Give a Damn'

A psychologist from Netherlands claimed that he supplied "suicide powder" to more than 100 individuals and that he was speaking out to fuel debate about the country's laws on assisted dying.

Wim van Dijk, 78, a Dutch psychologist, while speaking to the Dutch daily De Volkskrant, said he was not worried about being jailed for his acts and that the matter needed to be addressed.

Wim van Dijk Says he Wants to Fuel Debate on Assisted Dying

"I am aware of the consequences of my story," he told the De Volkskrant newspaper. "I don't give a damn. I want the social unrest to become so great that the judiciary cannot ignore it. I don't really care if they arrest me or put me in jail. I want something to happen."

Under current Dutch law, euthanasia by doctors is only legal in cases of "hopeless and unbearable" suffering. In practice this means that it is limited to those suffering from serious medical conditions like severe pain, exhaustion or asphyxia.

Dutch legislation states that people can only be assisted to die by a doctor in response to a "voluntary and well-considered request" in the context of "unbearable suffering from which there is no prospect of improvement, or alternative remedy".

In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide under strict conditions. It remains illegal for somebody who is not a physician to help somebody to take their own life.

Wim van Dijk,
Wim van Dijk Twitter

Wim van Dijk: Dutch Assisted Dying Campaigner

Van Dijk is a member of Coöperatie Laatste Wil, or the Last Will Cooperative. It's an organization that lobbies for more liberal assisted suicide laws. The group backs giving people the means to end their lives.

According to Van Dijk, he bought the powder from Alex S who was detained in August for allegedly selling suicide powder to dozens of people, including at least six who later died. S is now at the heart of a major police investigation, reported DutchNews.nl.

Van Dijk revealed in his interview that he suggested people who were at the organization's meetings should stay on after the moderator had left so he could sell them the drug, Agent X, for €50 (£42) per dose.

He said, "I have carefully provided people who want to maintain control over their own end of life with the means to end life at the time of their choice in the future."

"I am a provider. I have provided Agent X to more than 100 people," he added.

As reported by The Guardian, prosecutors are already investigating the organization over allegations that people attending its meetings have purchased a deadly drug known as Agent X, claims that have been denied.

The cooperative, on the other hand, denies this allegation.