Thursday, November 9, 2017

Euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands increasing quickly.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


The Guardian News published an article by Daniel Boffey concerning the increasing number of euthanasia deaths at the Levenseindekliniek (euthanasia clinic) in the Hague and in the Netherlands in general. According to the article, the number of euthanasia deaths will exceed 7000 in 2017 representing, at least, a 67% increase in deaths since 2012.
Boffey interviewed Steven Pleiter, the director of the euthanasia clinic who is hiring more staff for his death clinic. From the article:
Steven Pleiter, director at the clinic, said that in response to growing demand he was now on a recruitment drive aimed at doubling the number of doctors and nurses on his books willing to go into people’s homes to administer lethal injections to patients with conditions ranging from terminal illnesses to crippling psychiatric disorders.
Pleiter stated that he has 57 doctors on call and he may soon require 100 doctors.
“It’s the first time,” Pleiter said of the recruitment drive, sitting in his bright and airy office near the centre of The Hague, where the clinic’s neighbours include legal firms and a kindergarten. “Until today we rarely needed to search for doctors. That is changing now. We need a dramatic growth in doctors as the numbers have changed so much... 
“We ask the doctors to work eight to 16 hours a week for this organisation. A full-time job involved in the death of people is probably a bit too much, and ‘probably’ is a euphemism.”
Theo Boer
In response to Pleiter, Boffey interviewed Professor Theo Boer, who is a past member of a regional euthanasia review committee and now believes that the law has gone too far.

“Starting from 2007, the numbers increased suddenly,” Boer said. “It was as if the Dutch people needed to get used to the idea of an organised death. I know lots of people who now say that there is only one way they want to die and that’s through injection. It is getting too normal.” 
“In the beginning, 98% of cases were terminally ill patients with perhaps days to live. That’s now down to 70%.
The Guardian article brought forth interesting information, but the article fails to look deeper into the Netherlands euthanasia law.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (August 3, 2017) published the data from a Netherlands euthanasia study entitled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years.
The data from the study indicates that in 2015 there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request) and 18,213 deaths whereby the medical decisions that were intended to bring about the death in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands 2015 euthanasia report stated that there were 5561 reported assisted deaths in 2015 and yet the data from the study indicates that there were 7254 assisted deaths in 2015.

Therefore, according to the data from the study, in 2105, 1693 (23%) of the assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were without request.

Since the Netherlands euthanasia law uses a voluntary self-reporting system, meaning the doctor who lethally injects the patient also submits the report and since people do not self-report abuse of the law, therefore the law enables doctors to cover-up "abuse" of the law.

Is it actually possible to know how many people are dying by euthanasia in the Netherlands? Is it actually possible to determine how many  involuntary euthanasia deaths occur in the Netherlands?

1 comment:

Marc Bergeron said...

There is no limit to euthanasia once you open the door and that's what is happening in Netherlands.

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