- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Former Dutch health minister Els Borst found dead
Question of the Day
AMSTERDAM (AP) - Dutch police say the country’s former health minister - a woman who drafted the nation’s landmark 2002 law permitting euthanasia - has been found dead in her garage. They have ruled out natural causes.
In a statement, Utrecht police said Tuesday that Els Borst, 81, was found by a friend early Monday evening.
After an inquest was inconclusive, police sent her body for a full autopsy to determine the cause of death. Police say they expect that she died either as the result of “an accident or possibly a crime.”
Her house in Bilthoven, a suburb of Utrecht, was cordoned off Tuesday and investigators could be seen searching inside it.
Borst was seen in good spirits as recently as Saturday, at a function for her centrist D66 political party.
She was among the foremost women in Dutch politics in recent decades, a medical academic who served as health minister from 1994 to 2002. One of the first Dutchwomen to reach high political office, she held the title of “minister of state” - one of a handful given diplomatic passports who are allowed to represent the country internationally.
The Netherland’s euthanasia law, which codified longstanding practice, allows euthanasia when a terminally ill person requests it, is suffering unbearably and has no chance of recovery. Two doctors must agree.
Borst defended the policy at home and abroad as humane, despite protests and fierce criticism from religious groups.
“I hope that other governments will find the courage to follow suit,” she said in 2001 after the lower house of Parliament approved the law.
In the past decade, the majority of Dutch voters who support euthanasia has grown.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised Borst on Tuesday as “a wise professional, with clear and considered standpoints, who stood her ground.”
“She won people over with her openness, mildness and honesty,” he said.
Last year, while trying to prevent a measles epidemic in the Dutch Calvinist bible belt, she wrote an opinion piece in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad asking pastors and churchgoers to get vaccinated.
“If everything is God’s will, then so is the invention of the vaccine, just like the seatbelt,” she said.
In an interview with the NRC newspaper in 2001, Borst acknowledged that she was not opposed in principle to a suicide pill for “very aged people who are finished with life.”
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Ron Paul: U.S. partly to blame for Malaysia Airlines disaster
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq