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Dutch Oversight Authorities find Euthanasia on the Rise

LifeSiteNews.com

by Hilary White
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  AMSTERDAM, May 2, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For the third year in a row, medical authorities in the Netherlands have reported an increase in the number of legal euthanasia cases. Regional Oversight Boards for Euthanasia showed doctors reported 1,933 cases in 2005, up from 1,886 in 2004 and 1,815 in 2003.
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  Many studies have shown that the number of actual cases of doctors killing their patients is roughly twice what is officially reported, despite laws making the practice legal.
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  Earlier this year, a study produced in Holland, found that at least 50% of patients requesting euthanasia were seriously depressed, with 44% of those suffering from cancer suffering signs of clinical depression when they asked for euthanasia.
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  While the “safeguards” in the Dutch euthanasia program do require doctors to determine that a patient asking for euthanasia is “of sound mind,” there is no requirement that they not be suffering depression.
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  Belgium, a country in close lock step with the Netherlands in its social and legal restructuring, has found a similar steady rise in the use of euthanasia. Last year, Belgian reports showed that doctors were killing an average of one patient a day following the Netherlands’ average of five a day. Belgium’s 2005 report showed that 80% of the euthanasia requesters were Dutch-speaking residents of Flanders.
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  In October 2005, an international group of physicians from a wide spectrum of specialties issued a joint statement citing the Netherlands to show that once legalized, euthanasia becomes nearly impossible to control and leads inevitably to patients being killed without consent. Euthanasia, they say, erodes patient autonomy and creates an atmosphere in which it is considered “easier to kill a patient than to treat.”
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“Euthanasia,” said the group’s statement, would become an “acceptable treatment option for conditions such as depression, stress, loneliness, fear of impending disease or fear of decline, but also for disabled children or adults.”Â
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  See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
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  Euthanasia Rates Double in Belgium
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/feb/06020707.html
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  Dutch Study Shows Patients Requesting Euthanasia Likely Depressed
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/jan/06011607.html
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  Read physician joint statement:
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/oct/05102603.html

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