Suicide Group Membership Grows After Advertising ‘Death Powder’

Grace Carr | Reporter

Membership in a group that advertises a lethal powder for people who join has doubled after the organization was featured on a TV show.

The “Last Will” suicide advocacy group, based in the Netherlands, had 3,323 members before the show aired, but that number has jumped to 6,800, chairman Jos van Wijk told local paper De Stentor. The group’s members are campaigning for the legal right to use a deathly powder to kill themselves at any time, regardless of age or health, according to Dutch News.

Wijk said they discovered the powder after pharmacists, chemists, and toxicologists determined that the substance — which is a widely available and commonly used preservative — could be ingested to cause death.

“We were looking for something which is legally available,” Wijk said, although he declined to directly name the product. “You cannot buy it in shops but it can be bought online.”

Assisted suicide in the Netherlands is legal for anyone that suffers from physical or mental illness and has an advanced directive, or has received parental consent if they are younger than 16. Minors can request euthanasia as young as 12. The law posits that parents must be involved in the decision-making processes of  16- and 17-year-olds, but does not require their consent.

Those that desire assisted suicide need only express an earnest conviction that they see euthanasia as their only escape, a doctor to sign off on the procedure, and immunity from retribution.

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