Dutch Euthanasia Cases Surge

Article excerpt

Byline: Mail Foreign Service

EUTHANASIA cases in Holland have rocketed by 13 per cent in the past year, figures show.

Some 2,636 Dutch people were killed by euthanasia during this time, with 80 per cent dying at home after their doctors administered a lethal dose of drugs.

This compares to 2,331 reported deaths by euthanasia in 2008.

The rise in cases has prompted the health ministry to launch an inquiry into the law and it is due to open its investigations by the end of the month.

The previous two years also saw rises in the number of cases, with 2,120 deaths by euthanasia in 2006, 1,923 deaths in 2006.

In 2003, the year after Holland became the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia since the fall of Nazi Germany, there were 1,815 reported cases.

Jan Suyver, chairman of the government's euthanasia monitoring commission, said the rising number of cases comes as the 'taboo' once attached to euthanasia begins to fade.

'It could also be that doctors are more likely to report it,' he told a newspaper.

Anti-euthanasia groups say, however, that the sharp increase is probably linked to the collapse of the palliative care systhey tem in the Netherlands. …