Saturday 22 January 2022

Specialist euthanasia clinic faces 22% increase in requests for help


A specialist clinic set up to help people whose doctors do not support euthanasia, or who feel unable to help in their situation, received a record 3,122 requests last year, a rise of 22%.

Of them, 898 people, or 29% were helped to end their lives by the specialist teams, the same percentage as in 2018, the clinic said on Friday.

In particular, people with complex health issues such as dementia and psychiatric problems turn to the clinic, known as the Expertisecentrum Euthanasie, for help.

The rise in requests has led to a shortage of healthcare professionals across the board, particularly in The Hague and Rotterdam, the clinic said, and the waiting lists are growing.

Last September staff at the clinic said that requests for help had risen 15% in the first six months of the year. The increase, they said, may be partly due to the extra scrutiny doctors are facing from justice ministry officials.

One doctor was put on trial for murder for carrying out a euthanasia request, which, according to the public prosecution department, was not in line with the rules last year, but was eventually acquitted.

According to the Dutch law, which dates back to 2002, patients must be experiencing unbearable suffering without perspective of improvement in order to be eligible for euthanasia. Two doctors have to approve the request.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.