Thursday, April 18, 2019

2018 Netherlands euthanasia deaths are lower. We are concerned about euthanasia for "completed life."

Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Dutch media reported that, the 2018 euthanasia report indicates that there were 6126 reported euthanasia deaths in 2018 down from 6585 reported euthanasia deaths in 2017. 

Annemarie de jong, writing for the Nordhollands Dagblad, quoted Jacob Kohnstamm, the Chairman of the Regional Review Committee on Euthanasia, that the number of euthanasia deaths was "a fluctuation in the figures".

The article by de jong also suggests that there will be an increase in euthanasia deaths in 2019. She reported that the Nivel research institute stated:
It is striking that the number of euthanasia reports increased by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year
According to research 20% - 23% of the euthanasia deaths are not reported in the Netherlands. It is possible that some of the controversial euthanasia cases were simply not reported.

I am convinced that the lower number of reported euthanasia deaths is primarily related to the euthanasia cases that are being prosecuted in the Netherlands and Belgium. Doctors simply don't want to be brought before a tribunal or court to justify why they lethally injected a patient.

The number of euthanasia deaths for dementia and psychiatric problems also declined in 2018 while a new category of death causes me concern. The reported:
Of the cases reported to the committee last year, 146 concerned people with dementia and 67 people had severe psychiatric problems. In 205 cases, patients had multiple problems derived from the ageing process.
In 2017, 169 people died by euthanasia for dementia (3 were advanced dementia) and 83 people died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

The 205 people who had multiple problems derived from the aging process were part of a new category: "the completed life."

There were several controversial Netherlands euthanasia stories in 2018.

In August 2017, a 5 year study sponsored by the Netherlands government showed significant increases in assisted deaths and continued abuse of the law.

In January we learned that Berna van Baarsen, who had been a euthanasia assessor for 10 years, resigned over cases of euthanasia for dementia.

In March we learned that the public prosecutor was investigating several controversial euthanasia deaths. The public prosecutor was also investigating a euthanasia group in the Netherlands after the death of a 19-year-old woman.

The euthanasia train left the station a long time ago in the Netherlands. Sadly, Canada is quickly riding the same euthanasia track and experiencing the same concerns.

Euthanasia was sold to the public as an "option" for people who are nearing death and suffering. It was then promoted for people who are not nearing death and fear possible future suffering. It was then extended to children and people with dementia. Finally it has extended to anyone who claims to have a "completed life."

Reject euthanasia. A culture that cares and not kills is the only way to go.

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