FACT CHECK: Have Doctors In The Netherlands Been Ordered To Euthanize Citizens With Autism And Other Disabilities?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims doctors in the Netherlands have been ordered to euthanize citizens with autism and other disabilities. 

Verdict: False

The claim is fabricated. Euthanasia in the Netherlands is strictly voluntary and the claim comes from a website known for publishing false information.

Fact Check: 

A cargo ship off of the Netherlands coast carrying 3,000 cars has been ablaze for nearly a week, The Guardian reports. A Dutch coast guard announced that one person has died in the fire, while some crew members suffered broken bones, burns and had breathing problems from the smoke, CBS News reports.

The video shows a woman who appears to be reading from a news article. “Doctors in the Netherlands have been ordered to begin euthanizing citizens with autism and other minor disabilities, without fear of prosecution — even if the patient does not currently express any desire to die.”

The claim is fabricated, however. The speaker in the video is reading from an article from The People’s Voice, a website Check Your Fact has debunked several claims from. A “liability disclaimer” on the site’s “Terms of Use” states the site “makes no representations about the suitability, reliability, availability, timeliness, and accuracy of the information, software, products, services and related graphics contained on the site for any purpose.”

The website for the Netherlands government states, “Euthanasia can be performed only at the patient’s own request, not at the request of relatives or friends.” (RELATED: Has An Infinity Symbol Been Added To The Pride Flag To Represent Autism?)

“Physicians are [also] not obliged to grant a request for euthanasia,” the website reads. “A physician who does not want to perform the procedure himself should discuss this with the patient and may decide to refer him to another physician.”

The Netherlands recently expanded its euthanasia availability to children aged 1-12, but this only applies to “a small group of terminally ill children who suffer hopelessly and unbearably, whose palliative care options are not sufficient to relieve their suffering and who are expected to die in the foreseeable future,” according to Fox News.

Check Your Fact has reached out to the Netherlands government for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter