Ever since the Netherlands became the 1st country in the world to decriminalize euthanasia 16 years ago, the requests for euthanasia have been steadily rising. As chairman of the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees Dr. Jacob Kohnstamm, even speaks of it “becoming familiar”.

In early March, the Euthanasia Watch Committee published its annual report. It indicates that 6,585 euthanasia cases were performed in 2017, accounting for 4.4% of all deaths annually, and a rise of 8% compared to the previous year. Ninety percent of patients had cancer, heart disease or nervous system diseases. However, 83 people suffered from serious psychiatric disorders, which is a highly debatable subject. This steady increase since 2002 will probably continue, with increasing pressure to have euthanasia extended to individuals who believe their “life is over” or “are tired of living” at age 70 or 75.

Moreover, a new digression developed recently with the association “Laatste Will” (“Last Will”). Since last September, it advertised being able to provide a deadly powder to its members who desire ” a complete autonomy” for “when and how they want to die”. This association had to stop marketing this product on March 23rd, by order from the prosecutor’s office.

 _______________________

For further information: “Euthanasia in the Netherlands