Euthanasia deaths increase in Holland

The number of euthanasia cases in Holland has increased by 13 per cent in one year, prompting the Dutch Government to launch an official inquiry.

Last year 2,636 Dutch people were killed by euthanasia, with 80 per cent of the victims dying at home after being administered with lethal drugs, whereas in 2008 this figure was 2,331.

The rise in euthanasia deaths has prompted the Dutch health ministry to launch an inquiry into the nation’s euthanasia laws.


Pro-lifers have warned that the increase has been caused by the demise of Holland’s palliative care system.

Phyllis Bowman, Executive Officer of Right to Life, said: “I am sure that the increase in numbers of people opting for euthanasia is largely a result of inadequate pain control.”

Holland became the first country in the world to legalise voluntary euthanasia in 2002, but the Dutch Government has acknowledged that involuntary euthanasia poses a serious problem.


Currently two doctors must agree that a patient is suffering unbearably from illness with no chance of recovery, and no longer wants to live, before he or she can be given a dose of sedatives followed by a second drug which causes death.

In December Dr Els Borst, the architect of legal euthanasia in Holland, admitted that she may have made a mistake in pushing the law through.

The former Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister admitted that care for the terminally ill had declined since the law came into effect.


Dr Borst said: “In the Netherlands, we first listened to the political and societal demand in favour of euthanasia.”

She added: “Obviously this was not in the proper order.”

Dr Borst also said that more should have been done to give legal protection to those who want to die naturally.

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