More cases of euthanasia in 2009

The number of registered cases of euthanasia rose by 200 to some 2,500 in 2009, according to new figures from the official monitoring body, quoted in the Telegraaf.

It is not known how many cases of mercy killing there actually are in the Netherlands, but in 2007 experts said around 80% of instances are registered with the monitoring body.
There were also six registered cases of euthansia on elderly patients with senile dementia, all of whom were in the early stages and able to make their wishes known, the monitoring commission chairman Jan Suyver told tv programme Nova.
Euthanasia for cases of dementia has been officially recorded since 2003. In total, 22 cases have been registered and approved by the commission.
The law states a number of criteria which must be met before euthanasia can be administered. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.

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