13 psychiatric patients were helped to die last year
A total of 13 psychiatric patients were helped to end their life last year, compared with just two in 2010, according to new figures from the regional euthanasia monitoring groups.
Euthanasia among people in the early stages of dementia also rose last year to 49 cases, double that of 2010.
The figures are in line with a general upward trend. The total number of euthanasia cases rose 18% last year to 3,695 and the number of cases has doubled since 2006, the report said.
The reasons for the increase are not yet known but are being investigated by researchers from the monitoring groups.
Assisted suicide now accounts for 2.8% of all deaths in the Netherlands, researchers from four Dutch teaching hospitals and the national statistics office CBS found earlier this year.
Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be ‘suffering unbearably’ 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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