Recent euthanasia numbers in the Netherlands

A report recently released in the Netherlands states that there was a 15% increase in the number of notifications of euthanasia in that country between 2012 and 2013. The report also tells us that there was a 33% increase in the number of euthanasias done on psychiatric patients (42 cases). The report further states that dementia was the reason behind more than 2% of all euthanasias (97 cases).

The number of reported euthanasias in the Netherlands is growing. In 2003, the first year after euthanasia became legal in the Netherlands, 1,626 people died by euthanasia. 10 years later, 4,829 people died. That is a nearly four-fold increase in a decade.

With a total of 141,100 deaths in the Netherlands in 2013, reported cases of euthanasia account for 3.4% of deaths in the Netherlands. Using the same percentage, we would have seen 8,728 euthanasia deaths in Canada, or 2,067 euthanasia deaths in Quebec. These are significant numbers.

But not all euthanasia cases in the Netherlands are reported. A Lancet study indicated that 23% of all euthanasia deaths went unreported in the Netherlands in 2010.

Proponents of euthanasia in Quebec would have us think that only a few rare, exceptional cases will happen here. We are not so different from people in the Netherlands. We will see rapid growth of euthanasia if it legalized. We cannot let this happen.