June
21
 

Dutch euthanasia growing rapidly

The number of Dutch euthanasia deaths in 2009 has risen by 13% over 2008 to 2,636. It appears that the rate of growth is increasing, as the 2,331 deaths in 2008 represented a 10% growth over 2007. Legalised euthanasia came into effect in the Netherlands in 2003, when there were 1,815 reported deaths.

Authorities are puzzled by the growing popularity of euthanasia. Jan Suyver, the chairman of the government's euthanasia monitoring commission, wondered if the "taboo" once attached to euthanasia has begun to fade. "It could also be that doctors are more likely to report it," he said.

It is well known that many cases – no one knows how many – go unreported because doctors are reluctant to do the paperwork which official euthanasia requires. The Dutch health ministry will begin an inquiry into the working of the 2002 euthanasia law at the end of June. The committee, headed by Professor Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen, will report next year.

Opponents of euthanasia claim that the growth is the result of a collapse in Dutch palliative care since euthanasia was legalised. Whether or not this is true, 85% of those who applied for euthanasia had cancer. ~ London Telegraph, June 20



comments powered by Disqus
 

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Best of the web

 Recent Posts
Even for Ebola, unproven treatments are dicey, say bioethicists
18 Apr 2015
Feverish vaccine debate spreads to Australia
18 Apr 2015
Unreported clinical trial data “unethical”
18 Apr 2015
Bad ideas never die; they just plea bargain
18 Apr 2015
Gene of the Week 2: voting preferences
18 Apr 2015