A recent study published in the British Medical Journal has presented findings for the last five years, where the number of people who have died by euthanasia in the Netherlands has risen by 67%: from 4,188 in 2012 to more than 7,000 in 2017. “Cases are set to exceed 7000 this year, up from 4188 people in 2012 who met the criterion set out i
n 2002 legislation: a voluntary and considered request in the context of suffering where doctors say there is no prospect of improvement and no alternative remedy at the moment. Steven Pleiter, director of the country’s only clinic specialising in euthanasia, said that the increase represented the end of “the taboo” on killing patients who want to die,…”.
Euthanasia proceedings in Holland
Steven Pleiter, director at one of the main clinics and euthanasia activist said that in response to growing demand he was now on a recruitment drive aimed at doubling the number of doctors and nurses on his books willing to go into people’s homes to administer lethal injections to patients with conditions ranging from terminal illnesses to crippling psychiatric disorders.
Pleiter has 57 doctors on call but he believes he could need more than 100 by the end of next year with a growing number of people in Dutch society seeking an organised death.
The Levenseindekliniek was founded to respond to “more complex cases”, when patients have often had their application to die rejected by their GP, for reasons ranging from the ethical to the legal, or even just a lack of resources. Doctors at the clinic euthanised 32 patients in 2012, but it will help 720 people to die by the end of this year.
“If there was any taboo, it has gone,” Pleiter said. “There is a generation coming up, the postwar generation, which is now coming to the life stage in which they will die, and this generation has a far more clear and expressed opinion about how to shape their own life end. I expect far more growth in the years to come.”