By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
There were a record number of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands in 2022. The Dutchnews.nl reported:
The number of people dying in the Netherland with the help of euthanasia rose nearly 14% last year to 8,720, according to new figures from the regional monitoring committees, or RTE.
The percentage is higher than in recent years and took the proportion of euthanasia deaths up from 4.5% to 5.1% of all deaths last year. The number of deaths by euthanasia had been increasing by around 10% a year.
(See Netherlands 2021 euthanasia deaths increased by 10.5%)
The number of euthanasia deaths based on dementia significantly increased to 288 in 2022 from 206 in 2021, an increase of 34%. At the same time the number of couple euthanasia deaths increased by 23% to 379 with 58 couples dying at the same time. 115 people died by euthanasia for psychiatric conditions which was the same as 2021.
The number of euthanasia deaths that did not fit the criteria of the law increased to 13 cases in 2022 up from 7 in 2021. It must be noted that the Netherlands has a self-reporting system for euthanasia deaths meaning the doctor who is the primary assessor is the same doctor who does the euthanasia and is the same doctor who reports the death. People rarely self-report breaking the law.
The number of Netherlands euthanasia deaths may be even higher based on research indicating that 20% – 23% of the Netherlands euthanasia deaths are not reported.
The Netherlands euthanasia lobby is continually trying to expand the law.
The NL Times reported that the Netherlands Council of State published a report in December 2020, rejecting a “completed life” bill that was sponsored by the MP Pia Dijkstra. Completed life is a concept that a person could ask and receive a lethal drug cocktail simply because they believe that they have no further reason to live.
A Netherlands man was arrested on February 21, 2022 in the deaths of four people who died after ingesting a suicide powder. It was reported that the man, who was connected to the Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) euthanasia group, may have sold the suicide powder online to at least 500 people.
On June 30, 2022 the DutchNews.nl reported that Netherlands Health Minister Ernst Kuipers announced the intention to extend euthanasia to children, but without changing the law by extending the Groningen Protocol. The Groningen Protocol permits euthanasia of babies. As of the writing of this article euthanasia has not been extended to children in the Netherlands.
In December 2022, a Dutch court rejected a challenge to the Netherlands euthanasia law by the group – Coöperatie Laatste Wil. The group launched a court case in October challenging the Dutch euthanasia law because it restricts killing to doctors. The group wanted anyone in the Netherlands to be able to assist a suicide with legal immunity.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.