The Last Will Cooperative (CLW) is temporarily suspending so-called living room meetings because in an unknown number of cases these have led to the illegal trade in deadly medicines. The organization writes this to the members in a letter, which is in the hands of NRC.
The meetings, which have been organized in members’ homes in various configurations for many years, are intended to bring suicidal people together to offer each other support. However, the cooperative has received signals that suicide drugs were exchanged among themselves after those meetings. With this, those involved “crossed a border”, chairman Jos van Wijk responded in a telephone conversation on Thursday.
The case came to the fore through the arrest of Alex S., a member of the CLW, who, as far as is known, never participated in the living room meetings. However, according to justice, he was a supplier of a suicide drug. He has been in jail since mid-July for selling a legal but deadly powder, which he is believed to have distributed to hundreds of people in recent years. At least six of his clients have died.
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Large customer base
Due to S.’s large customer base, the CLW board has scrutinized the living room meetings. The cooperative board has recently spoken in three places in the country with the hosts of the living room meetings, which have been organized since 2016 and in which thousands of people have participated since then.
The moderators suspected that lethal drugs were traded among the members after these meetings. Suicidal people would then order a suicide powder online, possibly from Alex S. If they had a few grams left, Van Wijk illustrates, they contacted someone they knew from the living room meeting: have fun with it? Or another said: if you have some left over, can I buy it from you?”.
The mutual trade in a deadly substance is cross-border, says Van Wijk. “You may not give to another person anything that could cause him or her to die. You are punishable if that person dies from the drug.” It is not clear how often a suicide drug was traded after a meeting, nor whether people subsequently died from it. The CLW does not take any legal action.
It is unclear how long the living room meetings have been cancelled. The board of the cooperative first wants to be sure that nothing illegal happens during and after the meetings and that all moderators are ‘clean on the floor’.
You can talk about suicide at the national helpline 113 Suicide Prevention. Phone 0800-0113 or www.113.nl