Netherlands Moving Towards Euthanasia for the Healthy | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Netherlands Moving Towards Euthanasia for the Healthy

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia in 2002. Today, they are still the global pioneers. The Dutch keep pushing the boundaries wider and wider.

Euthanasia is becoming increasingly common. In 2017 (the last year for which figures are available), doctors reported administering lethal injections to 6,585 patients. In 2010, that number was only 3,316. Thus, euthanasia has doubled in less than a decade.

Euthanasia has been normalized to the extent that, last year, the chairman of the Royal Dutch Medical Association asked the Dutch government to communicate to the public that euthanasia is not a “right.” Patients need to understand that their doctor is never obligated to administer it.

The 2002 bill that legalized euthanasia states that people become eligible when they have “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement.” Thus, euthanasia was never strictly limited to patients with terminal illnesses.

Today, most instances of euthanasia are still for patients with diseases like cancer. However, other categories are growing fast. Euthanasia for psychiatric patients has skyrocketed. In 2009, there were zero reported instances. In 2017, there were 83. There have also been significant increases in euthanasia for dementia patients as well as for elderly patients with what the Dutch call an “accumulation of old-age complaints,” rather than an actual terminal illness.

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