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Euthanasia rates rise by 10% in the Netherlands

by Xavier Symons, BioEdge, 22 April 2017

Mr Symons reports that the official 2016 report of the Dutch euthanasia committee shows a 10 percent increase in recorded euthanasia deaths over 2015.

The report states that in 2016, 6091 patients were euthanised, up from 5516 in 2015.

Most of the cases of euthanasia involved people with cancer, serious heart or lung problems or diseases of the nervous system such as ALS.

There were 32 more cases of assisted suicide involving people with dementia, most of whom were in the early stages of the disease. In addition, there were 60 cases involving people with severe psychiatric problems, a rise of four on 2015.

The committee reported that in 10 of the cases the “executive doctor” did not comply with due diligence, and in some these cases, there were concerns that the doctor involved did fulfill the requirements of informed consent for the procedure.

Mr Symons drily notes that “Many healthcare analysts doubt the reliability of the committee’s review process”.

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