Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sharp growth in Dutch euthanasia deaths

The 2009 Netherlands euthanasia statistics were reported today in the Dutch media. The number of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands has significantly increased on a yearly basis for several years. The most recent report stated that there were 2636 reported euthanasia deaths, a 13% increase over the 2008 statistics and a 45% increase since 2003. Link to the article:(http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/06/sharp_growth_in_euthanasia_dea.php).

It should be noted that the media reports concerning euthanasia in the Netherlands do not include all catagories of direct and intentional reported deaths. The Netherlands has separate catagories for assisted suicide and deaths without explicit request or consent.

The most recent full-report concerning euthanasia in the Netherlands (2005) stated that there were approximately 400 assisted suicide deaths and 550 deaths without explicit request or consent.

Therefore a more accurate number of reported deaths would be 2636 reported euthanasia deaths + 400 reported assisted suicide deaths + 550 deaths without explicit request or consent.

The number of reported euthanasia deaths has grown significantly. In 2008 there were 2331 reported deaths, in 2007 there were 2120 reported deaths, in 2006 there were 1923 reported deaths, and in 2003 there were 1815 reported deaths. Last year the report indicated that only 80% of euthanasia deaths are actually reported.

The number of deaths by euthanasia continues to escalate. Consider the fact that the 2005 official study of euthanasia in the Netherlands indicated that 7.1% of all deaths were by sedation and dehydration. These are often euthanasia deaths because the death is direct and intentional and the method of death is dehydration. A 2007 report suggested that up to 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands were by sedation and dehydration.

There is a clear ethical difference between intentionally withholding fluids from a person who is nearing death, and dies a natural death and a person who was not otherwise dying and dies by intentional dehydration.

The yearly reports from the media do not include the number of infant eugenic euthanasia deaths, killed via the Groningen Protocol. Link to my article concerning the number of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands:
http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2009/09/incidence-of-euthanasia-and-assisted.html

Meanwhile a study by Anthropologist Anne Marie The suggested that many of the reported cases of euthanasia were not voluntarily requested by the person who died. Anne Marie The interviewed physicians who participated in euthanasia and asked them about specific circumstances. She found that often the decision to go ahead with euthanasia was made by the physician.

Anne Marie The stated to the NRC Handlesblad:
"There is the euthanasia law and then there is the euthanasia reality. To think that we have neatly arranged everything by adopting the euthanasia law is an illusion. Reality is more complicated than that: every patient, every situation and every doctor is different."

Link to the original comment concerning the study by Anne Marie The: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2009/12/new-research-into-dutch-euthanasia-law.html

Now, leaders of the Dutch euthanasia lobby, including Eugene Sutorius, the former leader of the NVVE, are urging parliament to legalize euthanasia for people who are 70 years old and "tired of living." This concept is ridiculous if you consider the reality of elder abuse in the Western culture.

Link to my article about the euthanasia for people who are "Tired of Living" http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/03/dutch-petition-to-permit-killing-by.html

The article in the Dutch news stated that:
The 2008 increase led the health ministry to set up an investigation into the increase. That investigation is due to start this month.
The reality is that euthanasia is out of control in the Netherlands.

At the same time momentum is shifting against the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. In January, the New Hampshire legislature, defeated a bill to legalize assisted suicide by 242 to 113. In April, a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide was defeated in Canada by 228 to 59. Most recently, the Connecticut court rejected a legal challenge by Compassion & Choices to strike down the State assisted suicide law.

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