Euthanasia is going up in the Netherlands. According to official statistics about 3% of all Dutch deaths come from being killed by doctors.
The number of Dutch people choosing to end their lives through euthanasia has risen 13 per cent in a single year, making it the cause of almost one in 30 deaths in the country. The commission that vets cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands recorded 4,188 cases last year, or approximately 3 per cent of all deaths – a record, and up from 1,923 in 2006.
The actual toll is far higher. As I have written previously, Netherlander bean counters drastically undercount the medicalized killing rate. For example, about half of all deaths are sudden–such as an accident or heart attack–and thus don’t involve “make me dead” decisions. Thus, even by this undercounted standard, the actual rate of euthanasia in which patients are under a doctor’s “care” is at least 6 percent.
Also, the official euthanasia statistics don’t include terminally sedated patients–put into an artificial coma and dehydrating them to death. Indeed, if you include these medicalized deaths–which are not the same as palliative sedation–about 13% of all Dutch deaths involved doctors intentionally ending life.
Nor does the official euthanasia rate include non voluntary euthanasia or infanticide. For that matter, it doesn’t include intentional overdose of pain medications with the purpose of making the patient dead, another practice that–according to the old Remmelink Report–well exceeded euthanasia deaths.
Be that as it may, if the same (vastly undercounted) 3% death-by-euthanasia rate were to occur in the USA, 75,000 deaths would be by legalized medical murders a year. (About 2.5 million Americans die annually). If you took the more accurate 13% doctor-administered death rate, more than 300,000 Americans would die at the hands of doctors each year.
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It wouldn’t be that “low,” of course. As America showed in the eugenics movement, when we decide to apply a pernicious social policy, we apply it!
Considering the cost containment emphasis in health care today, the “quality of life” destruction of the sanctity/equality of human life, our societal suffering phobia, the drive for rationing and the like–if the USA ever follows the Netherlands–the toll here will be catastrophic.
Is this the kind of society we want to become? If not, we have to reject euthanasia consciousness in all its permeations.
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.