Friday, November 2, 2012

Insurance company to pay for euthanasia deaths at Dutch euthanasia clinic.

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Netherlands media has reported that Health Insurance Group Menzies will pay for the euthanasia deaths that occur at the the euthanasia clinic that is operated by the euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands (NVVE) and opened March 1, 2012. This is the same euthanasia clinic that set-up the six mobile euthanasia units.

The article that was published on November 2, 2012 by stated

Menzis chairman Roger van Boxtel told a conference organized by the NVVE on Thursday that if patients meet the clinic’s tough conditions for help, then the health insurer will pay for the help.
The decision is the result of a ‘wide-ranging discussion’ within the company, Van Boxtel said. 
The clinic was set up in March for people whose own doctors cannot or will not help them. ... 456 people have registered at the clinic and 51 people have been helped to die.
An article that was published in the reported the statistics related to the deaths at the NVVE euthanasia clinic. The article stated:

In total, 456 people have registered with a special clinic set up by the voluntary euthanasia society NVVE in March this year. 
After an initial peak in inquires at the time of the launch, the clinic now deals with around three inquiries a week, the NVVE said in a report on the way the clinic has functioned so far. It was set up to help people whose own doctors are opposed to euthanasia or do not think they meet the criteria. 
Of the 456 inquiries this year, 51 people have been helped to end their lives, the NVVE said. In 30 cases, the doctor did agree to step in after the NVVE’s involvement. A further 94 requests for help were rejected because the patient did not meet the criteria and 54 died before the clinic could take action. No action has yet been taken on the rest. 
Cancer: While terminal cancer is the most common reason patients give for wanting euthanasia on a national scale, the clinic has had few advanced cancer cases to deal with and most inquiries are for 'non-life threatening' problems, the report says.

More than half the inquiries are from people with serious physical problems and around one third have psychiatric problems. Some 7% want help in ending their life because they have dementia and 10% say their life has run its course. 
Most inquiries – 68% - come from the over 60s while almost one in five were under the age of 30.
The people who are contacting the euthanasia lobby for euthanasia tend not to be terminally ill and many of these people have psychiatric problems.

The Netherlands Euthanasia law:
People should be concerned about how the euthanasia law in the Netherlands actually lacks effective controls.

For instance, euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands are reported after the person has died and the report is sent in by the doctor who carried out the death. Will doctors who carried out a euthanasia death that is not permitted by law, report the abuse?

The Lancet study that examined the 2010 Netherlands euthanasia statistics found that 23% of the euthanasia deaths were not reported in the Netherlands. The 2010 statistics found that 3136 euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands were reported, but 4051 euthanasia deaths actually occurred.

A study that examined the reported and unreported euthanasia deaths in Belgium found that the unreported euthanasia deaths were different than the reported euthanasia deaths.

The study stated that:
"there was a significant relation between reporting of euthanasia and the patient’s age, with deaths of patients aged 80 years or older reported significantly less often than deaths of younger patients." 
There is a different demographic group for reported euthanasia deaths than the unreported euthanasia deaths.

The study commented on the rate of compliance with the law in Belgium. The study stated that:
"Consultation occurred in almost all reported cases, whereas it occurred in only half of all unreported cases. This association was also found in the Netherlands, where the most important reason for not consulting was that the physician did not intend to report the case. Physicians who intend to report a case seem to consult another physician and comply with the other requirements of the law, whereas physicians who do not intend to report a case appear to consult a physician only when they felt the need for the opinion of a colleague"
The study concluded that:
As such legislation alone does not seem sufficient to reach the goal of transparency (“total” or a 100% transparency seems to be a rather utopian ideal) and to guarantee the careful practice of euthanasia"
For further information about the current euthanasia statistics in the Netherlands, Link.

For a detailed analysis of the Belgium and Netherlands euthanasia laws, contact the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and order a copy of the book: Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

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