Dutch health minister: 45 psychiatric euthanasia deaths in 2013
By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On Tuesday the NL Times reported that in response to a Parliamentary question, Dutch Health minister Edith Schippers said that in 2013, 45 people “with a psychiatric disorder have received euthanasia,” up from 14 in 2012.
The NL Times said that
“Schippers believes that the rise of euthanasia cases with psychiatric patients can be explained in the increased willingness of doctors to offer euthanasia in these cases. She also thinks that doctors know that the testing commissions have ruled that in all 27 cases from 2011 and 2012, there was careful action. Thus, she claims that the conception of doctors concerning the legal norms could have developed in that respect.
The growth in the number of psychiatric euthanasia deaths is more closely related to the actions of the Levenseindekliniek euthanasia clinic.
Recently, psychiatrist Boudewijn Chabot, one of the Netherland’s most famous euthanasia promoters, and a former leader of the NVVE [Netherlands Right to Die], wrote an opinion piece in the newspaper NRC Handelsblad that the euthanasia law in the Netherlands has derailed.
Chabot was the psychiatrist, who in 1994, did the first psychiatric euthanasia in the Netherlands. He admitted in his article that some of these psychiatric euthanasia deaths by the Levenseindekliniek are not being done carefully.
Earlier this year Belgian Professor Tom Mortier wrote in an article in which he said that the euthanasia debate in the Netherlands re-started intensively after the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported a big quarrel between doctors in January 2014, over the euthanasia death of a 35-year-old psychiatric patient in 2012. Mortier wrote:
“A young woman with psychiatric problems asked her general practitioner for euthanasia. For this purpose, her general practitioner consulted the first independent doctor, but this doctor gave a negative recommendation.
“A second independent doctor ruled that the euthanasia request could not be granted because, according to him, there were still treatment options. The general practitioner then asked a third doctor, a psychiatrist, who only needed two weeks to conclude that the problems of the 35-year-old woman were untreatable and thus a lethal injection was approved. Two days later, on December 19 2012, the patient died by euthanasia.”
Mortier then wrote about a healthy man who died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.
“A physically healthy man of 63 who was working for a government institution, died by euthanasia. He never had a relationship and the only thing he did his whole life was work. This man had been treated for a long time for depression, but the treatment didn’t work out. He also tried to commit suicide, but he failed. According to psychiatrist Gerty Casteelen this man decided that he wanted to die. The night before his death, he gave a farewell reception for his colleagues. The day after, Casteelen went to his house and gave him a lethal injection.”
Mortier then wrote about Gerty Casteelen:
“Casteelen who works for the Levenseindekliniek lethally injected a 54 year-old woman with a personality disorder, eating disorder and a chronic obsessive-compulsive neurosis. Casteelen doesn’t find it hard to kill her patients because she believes that she makes people very happy.”
When euthanasia promoter Boudewijn Chabot, states that the Netherlands euthanasia law has derailed and when the number of psychiatric euthanasia deaths increases by 320% in one year and when Chabot states that 2 of the 9 psychiatric euthanasia deaths by the Levenseindekliniek were not done carefully, then we can conclude that the Netherlands euthanasia law must be stopped.
Editor’s note. This appeared at alexschadenberg.blogspot.com.