By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition [EPC]
The Netherlands euthanasia clinic, Euthanasia Expertise Center, has temporarily shut-down amid the Coronavirus crisis.
This is the euthanasia clinic that reported euthanasia requests, in 2019, were up by 22% and euthanasia deaths increased to 898 from 727 in 2018. This is also the euthanasia clinic that specializes in euthanasia for psychiatric reasons and euthanasia for people with dementia or questionable competency.
The announcement from the euthanasia clinic (google translated) follows:
Corona crisis hits Euthanasia Expertise Center
The Corona crisis also affects the assistance of the Euthanasia Expertise Center. In the interest of public health, our patients, their loved ones and employees of the expertise center, it is no longer responsible to continue our current care provision.
Euthanasia expertise center temporarily will not accept new patients; clients are requested to submit their request at a later date. In addition, the care for current patients of the Euthanasia Expertise Center is suspended. Existing processes are put on hold and resumed at a later date. If euthanasia has already been agreed or promised, euthanasia can continue on condition that the group of attendees is limited to those who are absolutely necessary. Urgent case histories of current patients from the center of expertise are also dealt with, as long as a doctor and nurse are available for this. This concerns case histories of terminal patients or patients where there is an important risk that the ability to exercise will be compromised.
…However, special circumstances force us to take these inevitable steps. However harsh: euthanasia care cannot be identified as a top priority in health care. The risk of infection is high and the expertise center employs ambulatory doctors and nurses who also work elsewhere. For example, they are general practitioners or work in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Other healthcare providers are retired and themselves fall under the definition of the group of “vulnerable”.
The measures apply until April 6. The government’s date is leading for the Euthanasia Expertise Center. Our euthanasia consultants continue to provide (general practitioner) doctors in the Netherlands with telephone support.
EPC has not obtained the 2019 Netherlands euthanasia report, but the 2018 Netherlands euthanasia report indicated that euthanasia had slightly dropped in 2018. This was likely because of the court case related to the incompetent woman who died by euthanasia, even though she had resisted.
In the Netherlands there were 6,126 reported euthanasia deaths in 2018.
In 2018, the statistics included a new category where 205 people died by euthanasia based on multiple problems derived from the aging process. I consider this category as accepting, in part, euthanasia for “completed life” [https://nltimes.nl/2020/01/30/10000-older-nl-residents-say-theyre-ready-die-new-euthanasia-study].
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.