By Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
On May 14 The Daily Mail reported that a 45-year-old Dutch woman known as “Jackie,” was approved for euthanasia based on psychiatric issues related to sexual abuse.
News about this recent case comes after the shocking case of a physically healthy woman, in her 20s, who died by euthanasia in the Netherlands based on psychiatric grounds related to having been sexually abused as a child.
“Jackie,” the most recent case, is part of a trend of increasing numbers of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands combined with increasing numbers of euthanasia deaths for psychiatric reasons.
The 2015 Netherlands euthanasia report stated that there were 5,561 reported euthanasia deaths in 2015, up from 5,306 in 2014. There were 109 reported euthanasia deaths for dementia, up from 81 in 2014, and there were 56 reported euthanasia deaths for psychiatric reasons, up from 41 in 2014.
According to the Daily Mail article by Sue Reid, in the most recent case, Jackie’s sister stated:
This follows a traumatic childhood experience when she was sexually abused at five years old and developed depression as a result.
The Daily Mail reported that the euthanasia clinic received 1234 requests and was responsible for 36 of the 56 psychiatric euthanasia deaths in 2015.
Earlier this year, a study examining 66 cases of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons
uncovered several significant concerns. The report indicated that women represented 70% of the psychiatric deaths. The researchers noted that controversial cases included:
a woman in her 70s without health problems had decided, with her husband, that they would not live without each other. After her husband died, she lived a life described as a “living hell” that was “meaningless.”
A consultant reported that this woman “did not feel depressed at all. She ate, drank and slept well. She followed the news and undertook activities.”
The “End Of Life“ euthanasia clinic opened March 2012 with mobile euthanasia units in order to offer death to people who were either turned down by their doctor, or who are disabled or frail elderly and lacking mobility.
According to the Daily Mail article the first case of psychiatric euthanasia was also controversial:
After the clinic opened in 2012, its first psychiatric patient was a 54-year-old woman who had mysophobia (a pathological fear of germs or dirt). She, like other End Of Life patients, was killed at home after first being injected with a strong sedative and then a muscle relaxant which stops the heart.
Gerty Casteelen, one of the clinic’s psychiatrists, conducted eight hours of interviews with her before deciding that she really wished to die. ‘It was a long process’, the medic recalls. ‘I came to understand that her fears completely controlled her life.
‘All she could do all day was clean. It was impossible for her to maintain a relationship. Her whole development had stalled.’
Other psychiatric euthanasia deaths attributed to the Netherlands End of Life euthanasia clinic include a woman who was going blind and obsessed with cleanliness,
The Supreme Court of Canada stated in its 2015 Carter decision that euthanasia could be permitted for physical and psychological suffering. They did not define psychological suffering.
Canadians should be concerned that we are following the Dutch path.
Editor’s note. This appeared on the webpage of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.