Dutch Govt: Euthanasia Cases Rose 13 Percent in 2009, Now 2% of All Deaths

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dutch Govt: Euthanasia Cases Rose 13 Percent in 2009, Now 2% of All Deaths

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 12
, 2010

Amsterdam, Netherlands (LifeNews.com) — The Dutch government reported today that the number of reported cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide rose 13 percent in 2009 and now total about two percent of all deaths in the European nation. The news, which already worries pro-life advocates, sparked a further concern with talk of creating a euthanasia "hospital" to facilitate more deaths.

The euthanasia numbers continue to rise and the newly-reported increase follows a 10.5 percent rise in the deaths from 2008-2009.

The annual report of the regional commissions that oversee the Netherlands’ euthanasia law revealed 2,636 cases of killing patients directly or helping them kill themselves in 2009. The vast majority of the cases were direct euthanasia as opposed to assisted suicide.

Statistics Netherlands indicates about 80 percent of the people involved in the euthanasia deaths were cancer patients and more than 80 percent of the people killed died in their homes.

The new report also indicated nice cases in which Dutch doctors did not properly follow the stipulations of the euthanasia law. They can be sent to prison for up to 12 years when they fail to proper the euthanasia protocols and up to three years in cases where they do not properly follow assisted suicide protocols.

The Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life said earlier this week it is looking at putting together a Swiss-style euthanasia clinic that would make it even easier for people to be killed or kill themselves.

The RNW news service indicates the group wants to establish facilities where they can engage in euthanasia and assisting suicides for those who want to die.

They do not want to limit the killing "services" to merely those who are terminally ill, but plan to extend it to anyone who wishes to end their life regardless of their age or medical condition.

Others who could be targeted, RNW indicates, are those who have chronic psychiatric problems, with Alzheimer’s or dementia and people who feel they have “completed” their life — people who need mental health support rather than death.

Euthanasia is available in most Dutch hospices but those people suffering from those certain mental health conditions don’t meet the hospice requirements for death.

The Dutch news agency says the NVVE group wants its “life’s end” clinic to be seen as a normal medical facility in the same manner as a hospital or nursing home.

Wesley J. Smith, a lawyer and attorney in the Unite States who combats euthanasia, responded to the news.

"There is no denying the evidence that euthanasia consciousness leads to a broader culture of death that eventually accepts all comers," he said, adding that the Netherlands "probably has the most liberal legalized euthanasia law in the world."

"Perhaps they are trying to catch up with Switzerland’s suicide clinics," he added. "Regardless, their logic is impeccable. Once killing is considered an acceptable answer to human suffering, nihilism is unleashed and the “what” that causes “suffering” ceases to matter."


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