The Netherlands’ solely euthanasia clinic mentioned on Friday there had been a 22 p.c soar in individuals wanting assist to finish their lives final yr in contrast with 2018.
The Euthanasia Experience Centre, which helps medical doctors to hold out assisted dying, mentioned the three,122 requests it obtained final yr was “way over anticipated”.
The Netherlands is one in all a handful of nations the place euthanasia is authorized and by legislation all Dutch individuals older than 12 are entitled to ask for it — however they first have to satisfy strict standards.
“Each working day there are 13 individuals who come to us and say: ‘I can’t go on any longer’. There’s a nice want,” mentioned clinic supervisor Steven Pleiter.
He mentioned the variety of requests remained secure in 2017 and 2018, however then accelerated final yr.
Clinic spokeswoman Elke Swart informed AFP one of many causes for the spike might have been a court docket case towards a physician final yr who euthanised a affected person with extreme dementia, “presumably scaring off medical doctors with comparable requests who then referred their sufferers to our clinic”.
The physician was later acquitted on costs of getting carried out the euthanasia with out following strict tips.
The rise in 2019 may be demographic — an ageing inhabitants that’s extra conscious of the apply of euthanasia, Swart mentioned.
Clinic supervisor Pleiter mentioned some 900 requests to the clinic had been carried out final yr.
However he mentioned the soar in euthanasia calls for rang alarm bells as his clinic, based mostly in The Hague, was battling to take care of the rise.
“We now have openings on all fronts, for medical doctors, psychiatrists and nurses,” Pleiter mentioned.
Simply over 6,000 assisted deaths had been carried out throughout the Netherlands in 2018, in keeping with official figures, with the Euthanasia Experience Centre aiding in 727 instances.
The Netherlands was the primary nation to legalise euthanasia in 2002. It will possibly solely be carried out underneath strict situations set down in Dutch legislation.
Youngsters as much as 16 want the permission of their dad and mom and guardians, whereas dad and mom should be concerned within the course of for kids aged 16 and 17. From 18, any Dutch citizen might ask for assisted dying.
In all instances, the affected person should have “insufferable and limitless struggling” and should have requested to die “earnestly and with full conviction”.