In September 2017, a Dutch pro-self determination group, Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), went public claiming that they had discovered a new ‘euthanasia powder’ that was legal, lethal, lawful to obtain and administer and would provide their members with a reliable way to end their lives with no medical involvement. Although CLW refused to name the powder, referring to it instead as ‘Middel X’, it was quickly realised that they were referring to the inorganic salt, sodium azide.
The claim that azide satisfied all the requirements of the elusive Drion or Peaceful Pill attracted immediate interest from the right to die movement, and savage (and unjustified) attacks from the medical profession.
In the May 2019 edition of the Dutch Medical Journal NTvG in an article titled in ‘The Rise and fall of Middel X’, journalist Stella Braam wrote:
CLW are enthusiastic amateurs who genuinely believe in the ideal of end-of-life self-determination but are blinded by their enthusiasm, and guided by the pressure of their supporters.