Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Thursday 18 December  
euthanasia stable in the Netherlands
amsterdam, Netherlands
amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch euthanasia rates unchanged by legislation

Published on : 11 July 2012 - 10:44am | By ((C) SXC)
More about:

The legalisation of euthanasia in the Netherlands has not led to an increase in the number of cases according to a team of Dutch researchers.

The findings published today in medical journal The Lancet , show that about three percent of all deaths in 2010 were the result of euthanasia or assisted suicide. This compares to pre-legalisation levels of 2.8 percent.

When euthanasia was legalised in 2002, opponents warned that there would be an increase in the involuntary euthanasia of terminally ill or elderly patients. However, Professor Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen of Amsterdam’s VU University says there has actually been a drop in such deaths.
Based on interviews with 6,000 doctors and research into 7,000 deaths, the team found just 300 cases of euthanasia where the patient had not given explicit consent in 2010, compared with around 1,000 in the years prior to legalisation.

Onwuteaka-Philipsen told Dutch daily de Volkskrant that this was probably because there was more openness about euthanasia and it was discussed by doctors and patients at an earlier stage.

The research team also found that around 600 people ended their lives by refusing food and drink. Euthanasia had been denied in around half of these cases. Euthanasia is only permitted in the Netherlands under strict conditions and must be approved by two doctors.


Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...