The figures have been released on 2013 euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands, and Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has reviewed the numbers.
“What it shows again is a massive increase in the number of euthanasia deaths,” he says. “There's a 15-percent increase again, and you might say, Well, 15 percent - what is that? Well, there's been a 15-percent increase pretty much every year for the last six or seven years. So we now see euthanasia/assisted suicide deaths are up to 4,829.”
There was also a spike in euthanasia for dementia cases and for people going through psychiatric problems. Schadenberg adds that what qualifies for euthanasia is continually expanding - and now freedom of conscience for physicians is under question.
“In the Dutch Parliament they're debating the question of conscience rights,” he explains. “At this time, Dutch physicians don't have to do euthanasia. What they're doing is saying that a physician doesn't have to do it, but will have to refer a patient to someone who will do it.”At the same time, Dutch pediatricians want to extend euthanasia to children under the age of 12.
Links to more information on the Netherlands euthanasia law:
- Netherlands 2013 euthanasia report.
- Dutch ethicist - Assisted suicide: "Don't go there".
- Euthanasia: Incremental extensions are inevitable.
- Dutch health minister: 45 psychiatric euthanasia deaths in 2013.
- The Netherlands euthanasia law has derailed.
- Blind woman dies by euthanasia in the Netherlands.