Dutch Euthanasia Deaths Increase by 18 Percent
The annual number of reported deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands rose by 18 percent to 3,695 in 2011 -- a number that has doubled since 2006, Baptist Press reports. According to a Sept. 25 report, sizeable increases were also reported in the euthanasia of people in early stages of dementia and those with psychiatric problems; reported euthanasia deaths for dementia patients doubled to 49 and increased for psychiatric patients from two to 13. However, according to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), the statistics fall short of the reality in the Netherlands -- a July study by the journal The Lancet showed 23 percent of euthanasia deaths went unreported in 2010. Therefore, the actual number of euthanasia deaths in 2011 was "more likely" 4,544, the EPC said. Combined with its estimate of 226 deaths by assisted suicide, which is a separate category, the Netherlands likely had a total of 4,770 assisted deaths last year, according to the EPC.