1 in 20 Deaths in the Netherlands Is Now Due to EuthanasiaBy Cassy Fiano
Live Action News - August 7, 2017
Assisted suicide may only now be spreading across the United States, but in Europe, it’s been legal for decades. With the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act of 2002, the Netherlands legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia, relatively recently, but it didn’t take long for things to spiral out of control.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently analyzed statistics to get a better picture of how end-of-life practices had changed over the last 25 years. The statistics were from a questionnaire given to all Dutch doctors, to which three-quarters responded. In 1990, only 1.7% of all deaths were due to euthanasia; in 2015, the number had risen to 4.5%. This means 1 in 20 deaths in the Netherlands is now due to euthanasia. Even more disturbingly, the number could potentially be higher — two other categories could potentially overlap with the euthanasia figures. 0.1% of deaths were said to be due to physician-assisted suicide, and 18.3% to “continuous deep sedation”. As Michael Cook noted at Bioedge,
This last category is slippery and controversial. It accounts for nearly 1 death in 5 in the Netherlands. In some cases doctors agree that it is appropriate for refractory pain; but it can also be a form of “slow euthanasia” used to evade regulation and scrutiny.
Lead author of the study Dr. Agnes van der Heide, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, noted that increasing numbers of people were requesting euthanasia, despite not being mentally ill.
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