Alex Schadenberg

,

The Lancet proves euthanasia deaths are rising in The Netherlands

Alex Schadenberg

The long awaited 2010 nationwide examination of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands was published in The Lancet on July 11, 2012. The study found that:

* the number of euthanasia deaths has grown significantly since 2005 (4050 in 2010, 2425 in 2005)
* the under-reporting of euthanasia in the Netherlands has grown since 2005 (23% in 2010, 20% in 2005)
* there is a growth in deaths by terminal sedation (12.3% in 2010, 8.2% in 2005)
* the percentage of requests for euthanasia being fulfilled has increased (45% in 2010, 37% in 2005)
* the number of deaths without request or consent has decreased (300 in 2010, 550 in 2005)

The media decided to ignore the significant growth in the number of euthanasia deaths since 2005, by reporting that the current percentage of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands is similar to the percentage of euthanasia deaths in 2001, before it was officially legalized.

Historical facts:
Euthanasia in the Netherlands was first legalized through court decisions in the Netherlands. In 1984, the Supreme Court in the Netherlands established a set-of-criteria that should be followed for a physician to cause the death of a person by euthanasia without fear of prosecution.

From 1984 to 2002 a series of legal decisions led to a widening application of euthanasia.  The courts allowed euthanasia for people living with chronic depression (mental pain), to children who were born with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.

In 2001, the Netherlands parliament officially legalized euthanasia along the guidelines that were approved by the successive court decisions. The law officially came into effect in April 2002. Therefore euthanasia and assisted suicide were common before being legalized in the Netherlands.

Significant growth in Euthanasia:
In 2003, the first full-year of legal euthanasia in the Netherlands, there were 1815 reported cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands. In 2010, there were 3136 reported cases of euthanasia. There is an approximate (20 – 23%) rate of under-reporting, nonetheless, based on the reported number of euthanasia deaths there has been a 73% increase in euthanasia deaths since 2003.

The rate of increase of reported euthanasia deaths has accelerated over the past few years with a 19% increase in 2010 and a 13% increase in 2009.

The continued increase in the number of euthanasia deaths may be partly explained by the increase in the number euthanasia deaths that are carried out after request. In 2005 37% of requests for euthanasia were fulfilled while in 2010 45% of requests were fulfilled.

There has also been a 50 percent increase in the number of deaths by terminal sedation since 2005. Terminal sedation is usually done by sedating a person and withdrawing fluids and food. Palliative sedation is different than terminal sedation because with palliative sedation the intention is to allow natural death to occur. Terminal sedation is viewed by some people as an alternative to euthanasia. When a person is not otherwise dying, the act of terminal sedation is more accurately a form of euthanasia and should be referred to as “slow euthanasia.”

The media reports:
The Medical Daily reported that: Rates of Euthanasia are steady since 2002 legalization. Fox News reported: Little change in Dutch euthanasia post-legality. And ABC.net.au reported: Euthanasia number remain the same after legalization – study.

Clearly, the media bought into a common position based on the press release from the Lancet, rather than reading the study to uncover significant concerns.

A thorough response was written by Dr. Peter Saunders, Campaign Director for the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK. Saunders’ article focused on the incredible shift towards the use of Deep Continuous Sedation (Terminal Sedation) in order to keep the number of euthanasia deaths officially low.

Euthanasia in the Netherlands:
The rate of euthanasia in the Netherlands has increased by 73% in the last 8 years (1815 reported deaths in 2003, 3136 reported deaths in 2010) and even more important, the rate of euthanasia has increased by almost 35% in the past two years (2331 reported deaths in 2008, 3136 reported deaths in 2010).

Combined with the growth in the use of terminal sedation for people who are not otherwise dying, “slow euthanasia”, and the slight increase in the number of unreported euthanasia deaths, one must conclude that there are abuses occurring in the Netherlands.

On March 1, a euthanasia clinic in the Netherlands launched six mobile euthanasia teams in the Netherlands. The NVVE, euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands, announced that they anticipate that the mobile euthanasia teams would complete 1000 euthanasia deaths per year.

The mobile euthanasia teams plan to fill unmet demand for euthanasia for people with chronic depression (mental pain), people with disabilities, people with dementia/Alzheimer, loneliness, and those whose request for euthanasia is declined by their physician. In 2010 45% of all euthanasia requests resulted in death by euthanasia.

Similar to the previous euthanasia reports (1990, 1995, 2001, 2005) the 2010 report uncovers significant concerns related to the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide is not safe and the safeguards that are devised to control euthanasia do not protect the dying, but rather they protect the doctor.


Advertisement

Euthanasia in Canada: Letter writing campaign

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg
Image

The Québec euthanasia Bill 52 will be voted on very soon, possibly today (June 3). 

Steven Fletcher is busy promoting his private members bills to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the Carter case on October 14. The Carter case seeks to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.

On June 2 the National Post published a page of letters, with the majority of the letters supporting euthanasia. This means that the euthanasia lobby asked their supporters to write letters.

To write a letter to the editor you need to keep your letter short and focused. Choose one topic to write about. We have provided a link to an example or to further information on that topic that you can access by clicking on the topic. Suggested topics: Euthanasia/Bill 52Euthanasia/Personal story, Euthanasia/Elder Abuse, Euthanasia/Medical Error, Euthanasia/Disability rights, Euthanasia/Palliative care, Euthanasia/Assisted suicide are not safe, Euthanasia/Belgium, Euthanasia/Netherlands, Assisted Suicide/Oregon, Assisted Suicide/Switzerland, etc.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is asking you to write letters to the editor. This following list contains most major newspapers in Canada. It is of great benefit to also write letters to other local newspapers.

National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/contact/letters/index.html?name=Letters&subject=Letter+to+the+editor

The Globe and Mail: nhassan@globeandmail.com

The Gazette: letters@montrealgazette.com

Le Journal de Montréal: jdm.transmission@quebecormedia.com

La Presse: debats@lapresse.ca

Le Soleil: opinion@lesoleil.com

Le Journal de Québec: commentaires@journaldequebec.com

Le Devoir: redaction@ledevoir.com

Journal Metro: opinions@journalmetro.com

Halifax Chronicle Herald: letters@herald.ca

Ottawa Citizen: letters@ottawacitizen.com

Toronto Star: lettertoed@thestar.ca

Toronto Sun: http://www.torontosun.com/letter-to-editor

Hamilton Spectator: letters@thespec.com

London Free Press: letters@lfpress.com

Winnipeg Free Press: letters@freepress.mb.ca

Calgary Herald: letters@calgaryherald.com

Edmonton Journal: letters@edmontonjournal.com

Vancouver Sun: sunletters@vancouversun.com

Vancouver Province: provletters@theprovince.com

Victoria Times Colonist: letters@timescolonist.com

Resource articles for letter writing:

● Québec's euthanasia bill 52 is imprecise and open to abuse

● Euthanasia is not healthcare, it is lethal and it is not safe

● Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is not safe.

● Belgium euthanasia deaths increase by 26.8% in 2013.

● Netherlands 2012 euthanasia report.

● Oregon's 2013 assisted suicide report.

● Disability: Assisted suicide: Full of Dangers.

● Legalizing euthanasia threatens people with disabilities.

● Physician assisted suicide: A recipe for Elder Abuse.

● Medical error, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

● Swiss group to assist the suicides of healthy elderly people.

● Palliative care leaders oppose Québec euthanasia Bill 52

● Stephen Sutton lived everyday with dignity

● Euthanasia undermines protection in law for me.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg


Advertisement

Belgian euthanasia deaths increased by 26.8% in 2013

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg

The 2013 Belgian euthanasia report indicates that the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 26.8% in 2013 to 1816 reported deaths

Sign the EPC - Europe Petition demanding a moratorium on euthanasia in Belgium.

In 2012 the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 25% to 1432 reported deaths

The Belgian euthanasia reports indicate that the number of reported euthanasia deaths continue to grow at a faster rate. In Belgium, there were 1133 reported euthanasia deaths in 2011 and 954 reported euthanasia deaths in 2010.

At the same time Belgium has recently extended euthanasia to children. The child euthanasia bill was passed after protests against the bill were held in Brussels and 160 Belgian Paediatricians denounced the child euthanasia bill.

Studies concerning the Belgian euthanasia law that were published in 2010, from the Flanders region of Belgium found that: 32% of all assisted deaths were done without request, 47% of all assisted deaths went unreported, and nurses were euthanizing patients even though the Belgian euthanasia law prohibits nurses from doing euthanasia. There has never been an attempted prosecution for abuses of the Belgian euthanasia law.

In Canada, the Quebec government should be very concerned about the practice of euthanasia in Belgium since they have based euthanasia Bill 52 on the Belgian euthanasia law.

In January, the Belgian media reported that a euthanasia doctor admitted to not reporting his euthanasia deaths. The article confirms that many euthanasia deaths in Belgium are not reported and the actual number of euthanasia deaths is much higher than 1816.

In February, Dr. Tom Mortier launched an official complaint against the doctor who euthanized his healthy mother who was living with depression. Mortier questioned:

"how it is possible for euthanasia to be performed on physically healthy people"

In April 2014, a 20-year-old Belgian woman, named Margot, launched a second official complaint against the same euthanasia doctor in response to the euthanasia death of her 47-year-old mother who was physically healthy but living with depression. Margot asked

"How could someone who has not even received treatment for depression, get euthanasia?"

There are also serious questions being asked concerning the purpose and effectiveness of the Belgian euthanasia control and evaluation committee. The President of this committee is the leading euthanasia doctor in Belgium who also operates a euthanasia clinic with half of the membership of the committee composed of members of the euthanasia lobby.

In November 2013, I debated Dr. Jan Bernheim, one of the pioneers of the Belgian euthanasia law. During the debate in Brussels I quoted from the earlier studies showing that euthanasia deaths were occurring without request, that euthanasia deaths were not being reported and that nurses were ignoring the law and euthanizing their patients. Bernheim responded to those statements by saying:

"There are problems with the Belgian euthanasia law."

I responded by saying:

"That is cold comfort for the dead."

The safeguards and controls in the Belgian euthanasia law do not work. The Belgian government needs to establish a moratorium on its euthanasia program and re-evaluate its euthanasia law, or the number of euthanasia deaths will continue to grow exponentially.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg's blog.


Advertisement

Medical error, euthanasia and assisted suicide

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg
Image

A power point presentation developed by Christine Koczmara RN BSc and Cathy Isman RN(CPN) (C) for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices states that it was estimated in 1999 that 98,000 Americans die every year from preventable medical mistakes which is almost equal to the number of combined yearly deaths from Car Accidents, Breast Cancer, and Aids (Link).

A Canadian study from 2004 found that 7.5% of patients in Canadian hospitals are harmed from their care, 37% of the adverse events were preventable and more than 9250 Canadians died every year from medical errors (Link).

The same power point presentation estimated that only 3% – 6% of all medical errors are reported (Link).

In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico (62) from Calabria Italy died at the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland after receiving a wrong diagnosis. Many medical errors will lead to negative health conditions, some medical errors will lead to death, assisted suicide always leads to death (Link).

In July 2013, a Swiss regional court found Dr. Philippe Freiburghaus guilty of assisting a suicide without properly diagnosing his patient. On April 23, 2014, the Swiss court of appeal overturned the conviction of Freiburghaus (Link).

In September 2013, Nancy Verhelst asked to die by euthanasia in Belgium after experiencing a “botched” sex change operation (Link).

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Statistics from Belgium indicate that up to 32% of all assisted deaths are done without explicit request (Link) and up to 47% of all assisted deaths go unreported (Link). In the Netherlands the rate of assisted death without explicit request is lower than in Belgium and the rate of unreported assisted deaths is 23% (Link).

Since acts of assisted death cause the direct and intentional death of the person, and since the “safeguards” that are designed to protect patients, in the law, are not followed, can legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide ever be safe?

Considering the problem of medical error, the reality that human beings fail, the reality that many physicians have been taught to believe that certain human lives are not worth living (Quality of Life) and considering the regularity of medical error and the reality, can legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide ever be safe?

These facts and many more speak for themselves.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg


Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook