HomeoldNetherlands’ 2017 euthanasia deaths increase by another 8%

Netherlands’ 2017 euthanasia deaths increase by another 8%

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The DutchNL news service has reported that the regional euthanasia review committee’s annual report has found that in 2017, there were 6,585 reported cases of assisted death, representing an 8% increase over the total of 6,091 reported cases in 2016.

The DutchNL news service has also reported that the number of cases of assisted death for reasons of dementia or psychiatric illness also increased in 2017.

A total of 169 individuals with dementia and three cases of advanced dementia died by euthanasia, while another 83 individuals died by euthanasia based on psychiatric reasons. In 2016, there were 141 individuals who died by euthanasia based on dementia (an increase from 109 in 2015) and 60 individuals who died by euthanasia based on psychiatric reasons (an increase from 56 in 2015).

In January 2017, a Netherlands euthanasia review committee determined that the death of a woman with dementia, who died by euthanasia against her will, was conducted in “good faith.” The woman was restrained while the doctor administered a lethal injection with the assistance of her family.

On 1 January 2018, Berna van Baarsen, a euthanasia assessor for 10 years in the Netherlands, resigned in protest at the acceptance of euthanasia for reasons of dementia. On 26 January 2018, a 29-year-old woman died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

The Dutch NL news article, dated 7 March, indicated that 12 of the euthanasia deaths were questionable.

Twelve cases were identified by the monitoring committee as having been conducted in an unscrupulous manner. These cases were primarily characterised by deficiencies in the provision of medical care or the absence of an independent second opinion.

It can be reasonably concluded that the Netherlands euthanasia review committees are not being entirely truthful when they state that nearly all of the deaths are carried out in accordance with the law. It is evident that there is a lack of knowledge regarding the number of assisted deaths that occur outside of the law.

The 3 August 2017 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter titled “End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years.”

The three authors who conducted the investigation into end-of-life decision-making practices in the Netherlands between 1990 and 2015 determined that in 2015, there were 7,254 assisted deaths. Of these, 6,672 were euthanasia deaths, 150 were assisted suicide deaths, and 431 were terminations of life without request.

The 2015 euthanasia report from the Netherlands indicated that there were 5,561 reported cases of assisted death. However, the data from the study published in the NEJM indicated that there were 7,254 assisted deaths in 2015. Consequently, the data from the study indicates that 1,693 (23%) of the assisted deaths were not reported.

The Dutch euthanasia law uses a voluntary self-reporting system, which means that the doctor who injects the patient fatally also reports it. Since doctors do not self-report abuse of the law, the law enables doctors to cover up ‘abuse’ of the law. The 431 cases of euthanasia are usually not reported.

A woman in the Netherlands was interviewed for the forthcoming film Fatal Flaws and explained how her mother died by voluntary euthanasia.

Due to the design of the Dutch law, it is impossible to know how many people actually die by euthanasia in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the Belgian and Canadian euthanasia laws contain the same Fatal Flaws as the Dutch law.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr Schadenberg’s blog and is reproduced with permission.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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