A Dutch court convicted a man Tuesday who sold so-called "suicide powder" to at least 10 people who killed themselves.
The court ruled that a man treated the lives of others very lightly and "had harmed the value of human life" by selling the substance, DutchNews reports.
The man, identified as Alex S from Eindhoven, had been selling the powder, named in court as "substance X," for three years, including instructions for its use. He was sentenced to prison for 3.5 years, with 18 months suspended.
Alex S, 29, said that he initially bought the powder to commit suicide himself because of medical problems. When he discovered the substance could be easily obtained online, he contacted members of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), an organization campaigning for the right to die, and who wanted to buy it.
Over three years, the convict made up 1,600 doses of the powder comprising four times the lethal amount and sold them for €45 each. When ingested, it can kill a person in 40 hours.
Selling the substance, which is used in the chemical industry, is not an offense in the Netherlands unless the purpose is to help someone die.
Under Dutch law, assisted suicide is only possible when a patient is experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement and the attending physician fulfills the statutory due care criteria.
- DutchNews. Dutch court finds “substance X” seller guilty of aiding suicide.
- Netherlands Government. Euthanasia.