September
26
 

Big rise in Dutch euthanasia deaths

Just-released statistics for Dutch euthanasia in 2011 show that the number of psychiatric patients who died has skyrocketed from 2 in 2010 to 13 last year. Euthanasia for people with dementia also rose substantially, to 49.

But euthanasia of all kinds rose. In 2011 there were 3,695 cases of euthanasia, an increase of 18% over the previous year. The figure is double the number in 2006. There were 4 cases of medical negligence, according to the report. One is being investigated by the public prosecutor.  

Nicole Visee, the secretary general of the national euthanasia commission, told the media that she did not understand why numbers had risen. it could be due to better reporting by doctors, more deaths from terminal illness with the ageing population, or changes in ethical views.

Alex Schadenberg, a Canadian critic who keeps a close eye on the Netherlands, says that euthanasia there is “out of control”. He points out that a study earlier this year in The Lancet estimated that 23% of euthanasia cases are not reported. Applying this metric to the 2011 statistics, he claims that there must have been about 4,500 euthanasia deaths.

Surprisingly for such a controversial topic, the official figures are sketchy and difficult to interpret. BioEdge’s information for 2011 is based on news reports in English, but little more is currently available even in Dutch.

Euthanasia deaths in the Dutch statistics do not include assisted suicide (192 in 2010) or continuous deep sedation, which is often called “slow euthanasia” (8.2% of all deaths in 2005). Euthanasia now accounts for 2.8% of all deaths in the Netherlands – more than 1 person in 50.



This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge.org under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

comments powered by Disqus
 

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Best of the web

 Recent Posts
Nitschke designs new euthanasia machine with detachable coffin
18 Nov 2017
NEJM debates repairing human germlines
18 Nov 2017
Jehovah Witness woman in Quebec freely chose not to have transfusion and paid with her life
18 Nov 2017
Should Americans excuse FGM as a minority cultural practice?
18 Nov 2017
Social egg freezing adverts are often sheer puffery, claims bioethicist
18 Nov 2017

Home | About Us | Contact Us | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share | michael@bioedge.org

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2009 All rights reserved -- Powered by Encyclomedia