Last year 42 people with a psychiatric disorder were euthanized in the Netherlands.
This is a sharp increase from 14 deaths in 2012 and is in fact more than all euthanasia deaths for psychiatric patients combined since euthanasia was legalised in 2002.
According to Edith Schippers, the Minister of Health, the increase of deaths is caused by a greater willingness of psychiatrists to grant a patient’s request for euthanasia, De Correspondent writes. The committee that checks euthanasia deaths for due care expects the numbers to settle at this level. Several doctors questioned by De Correspondent believe there was a taboo on euthanasia in the field of psychiatry that is now slowly ebbing away.
The six criteria for due care state, amongst others, that sufferers must be of sound mind and without hope of getting better in order to be euthanized. These criteria make it extra difficult for sufferers of psychiatric disorders to have their wish for euthanasia granted.
Some of the problems that are either unique to psychiatry or just more prevalent than in other fields of medicine:
- The death wish can be part of the disorder.
- Patients are often younger, making it harder to determine that their situation is without hope.
- Psychiatric disorders are rarely lethal and treatment, even if only palliative, is often possible.
- Conditions like depression can make a patient’s own estimate of their chances more pessimistic than warranted.
See also: Dutch death clinic working at full capacity.
Shandrick Elodia, the ‘most amusing bus driver of the Netherlands’ from Enschede was sacked recently for safety reasons. By sacked, I mean not rostered anymore to work, as he didn’t have a permanent contract.
“Are you ready for the ride of your life?”, he would ask depressed passengers and then chat on the microphone and play music like Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Everybody loved this guy, but he was way too much for his employer.
At some point, Elodia needed something more challenging and wanted to do something about all those sad faces boarding his bus. He once startled an old lady by wishing her a nice evening on the microphone and kept going from there.
Sure, Elodia should have followed the rules (only greeting people) and just done his job or quit and find something else — he is the first to admit that. Elodia has a degree in industrial design, and according to him, his global vision of ‘making poverty cool’ ended up spilling over into his work as a bus driver. “When you’re poor, you have to make due with rubbish products. When I drive up in my happy bus next to some guy in an expensive Mercedes, he sees how much fun the ‘poorer’ people are having and wishes he was in my bus.”
Since Elodia has been on television (in Dutch), work offers have been pouring in.
(Links: www.nrc.nl, www.nieuws.nl, Photo of Bus in Enschede by Daniël Bleumink, some rights reserved)
Tags: bus driver, Enschede, industrial design, public transport
Poker player Jorryt van Hoof from Eindhoven finished third this week at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, beating last year’s seventh place scored by Dutch trailblazer Michiel Brummelhuis. Now the highest ranked Dutchman ever in this event, Van Hoof goes home with 3,8 million USD (over 3 million euro).
Although Van Hoof prefers playing PLO (pot-limit Omaha) cash games, he still surprised many by having made it to the ‘November Nine’, the nine players who get to participate in the WSP. In fact, Van Hoof even started out as the chip leader.
After being eliminated Van Hoof tweeted ‘Thank you all for the amazing support, I truly appreciate it! It’s been one heck of a ride and a unique experience’. First place went to Sweden’s Martin Jacobson and second place to Norway’s Felix Stephensen.
(Links: www.ed.nl, www.pokernews.com, Photo by Jam Adams, some rights reserved)
Tags: Eindhoven, Las Vegas, poker
Dutch record label Black Hole Recordings has opened an online online pop-up store where people can get free tracks, ringtones and the likes by paying with a tweet. Started on 11 November, the pop-up store will be online for 30 days. Follow Black Hole Recordings on Twitter at @Blackholerec by placing a tweet with the hashtag #paywithatweet and the article you want, and it will be sent to you for free. You’ll get a direct message about you purchase.
Black Hole Recordings claims this is a world first and sells music and merch from artists such als Ferry Corsten, Tiësto and New World Punx.
Tags: pop-up store, Tiësto, Twitter
This morning Privacy First, a foundation committed to preserving and promoting the right to privacy, is in court in Amsterdam over having to enter one’s license plate number when parking on the city’s streets.
Bas Filippini, who when parking in Amsterdam enters the license plate number ‘NOWAY’ (see film linked to the source), says the problem is two-fold: 1) a person in Amsterdam now has no choice but to enter their license plate number and 2) people cannot pay with cash, which both breach the right to privacy and anonymity, never mind being a pain for tourists or other visitors who don’t have the right bank card or mobile phone.
Filippini is in court because of a 60 euro fine he got for not entering his license plate number. According to Privacy First, every free citizen has the right to privacy in the sense of anonymity in public spaces, including parking one’s car, a right stated by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF).
We’ve been parking cars on the streets in Amsterdam for decades without the city knowing anything about our cars, and continue to gleefully do so across the country. Article 8 says unless matters such as, “national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others” come into play, which I cannot possible imagine they do.
We’ll update you once we know more.
Tags: Amsterdam, parking, privacy
From December 4 to 7 the second edition of the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup will be held in Dallas, Texas, and Team Netherlands will be participating for the very first time. Notice that this World Cup doesn’t contain the word ‘women’ in it because roller derby is predominantly a women’s sport: it’s the men that have to append an extra word to their World Cup.
Not even a year old, Team NL has been working towards Dallas from the very beginning, with about half the players hailing from the country’s first team, the Amsterdam Derby Dames, and the rest from the Rotterdam Death Row Honeys, Utrecht’s Dom City Dolls, Enschede’s Eastside Rock’n Rollers, Groningen’s Northern Lightning Rollerdgirls and Eindhoven’s Rockcity Rollers.
Today it has been announced that Team NL’s first tournament game will be against World Champion Team USA. Contrary to many other international sports, the US and Canada (ranked 2nd) dominate the sport because since the era of modern-day roller derby that coincidentally started in Texas in 2001, these two countries were pretty much the only ones playing the sport. Since then roller derby has grown exponentially, and countries such as England, France and Germany are now approaching the level of competitiveness driven by the US and Canada.
Some of the Team NL girls will be travelling to the US for the first time and are as excited as can be.
(Disclosure: I skate with the Amsterdam Derby Dames. Photos of Team NL training by Branko Collin)
Tags: Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, roller derby, Rotterdam, Team Netherlands, Texas, Utrecht
Dutch designer Michiel van der Kley created Project EGG, which features 4,760 3D-printed stones, each one different and printed by someone else abroad, and mailed back to van der Kley for final assembly. Project EGG uses biodegradable polylactide (PLA) plastic stones that have been designed with parametric software. The project came about after Van der Kley’s recent experiments with desktop 3D printers, which prompted him to find other ways of creating larger works, without being constrained by the relatively small size of current desktop models.
(Link: www.treehugger.com, Photo: projectegg.org)
Tags: 3D printing
This fall Amsterdam opened a Hangover Information Center (HIC) in the Red Light District. Besides being very well lit but not too bright, it actually offers party-goers serious scientific information about how to prevent a hangover.
The HIC also sells RESET drinks at 5 euro a pop.
“After drinking alcohol the body needs additional water and food supplements, including vitamins and amino acids. RESET contains a combination of selected vitamins and amino acids as well as choline, which supports the liver’s clearing activity.”
Parool says the drink tastes bitter and the extra powder that needs to be added tastes salty. As long as you drink the product together with the same amount of water and alternate, it should do the trick. However, it does seem a lot to ask of someone before they go to bed drunk. You could also try and drink less, as the effects of a hangover are your body trying to send you a clear message about what you’re pouring into yourself.
(Link: www.amsterdamredlightdistricttour.com, Photo: Hangover Information Center)
Tags: alcohol, hangover, water
Dirkjan is a popular Dutch gag strip by Mark Retera. Now and again his co-conspirators Remco Polman and Wilfred Ottenheijm, who are part of animation studio Mooves, break out the onion skins and transfer their hero to celluloid.
In ‘Dirkjan Heerst’ (‘Dirkjan Rules’) the eponymous hero finds out exactly what his life is worth in the eyes of aliens from outer space. The short was released in 2010 when it was shown before Jackass 3 in Dutch film theatres. Last week Mooves released it to Vimeo.
It doesn’t have any actual talking, so enjoy.
(Disclosure: Remco, Wilfred and I go way back. Together with a few others we ran a comics fanzine in the 1990s called ‘Iris’ which later spun off an illustration studio of the same name, which even later became Mooves.)
(Photo: cropped screen capture of the short film)
Tags: animation, Dirkjan, Mark Retera, Mooves
In the village of Nieuwe Pekela, Groningen a five-year-old girl in a playground with a pink tablet traded her tablet with a nondescript stranger for a bag of sweets. After the mother hadn’t seen the girl use the tablet for a few days and asked why, the girl confessed she traded it for a bag of sweets. The girl said she saw her mother selling some of her ‘old stuff’ and followed her lead. Mom was not amused and asked for the tablet back through Facebook, saying ‘that wasn’t the idea’. We don’t know at this time if it was returned.
What’s a five-year-old doing with a tablet (pink, no!) at a playground? Why not actually play and leave the tablet at home? What about not talking to strangers who try to give you candy? That could easily have been a paedophile testing the waters.
The Dutch say ‘van ruilen komt huilen’ (‘trading brings regret’), and in this case, it could have been far worse.
(Link: www.dvhn.nl, Photo of Sweets by Rool Paap, some rights reserved)
Tags: Groningen, Nieuwe Pekela, tablet