Deaths by euthanasia increased 10% in the Netherlands in 2016, according to a new report published by the country’s Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTE).
Most of the cases of euthanasia involved people with cancer, serious heart or lung problems or diseases of the nervous system such as ALS.
There were 32 more cases of assisted suicide involving people with dementia, most of whom were in the early stages of the disease. In addition, there were 60 cases involving people with severe psychiatric problems, a rise of four on 2015.The committee reported that in 10 of the cases the “executive doctor” did not comply with due diligence, and in some these cases, there were concerns that the doctor involved did fulfill the requirements of informed consent for the procedure.
Many healthcare analysts doubt the reliability of the committee's review process, and some suggest that complaints should be made directly to the Supreme Court.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
We’re back from the Easter holidays, which in Australia are far longer than elsewhere, thank goodness. To get back into the rhythm of things, we have published two articles about “fake news” and bioethics. One reports that prospective IVF parents in Mississippi discovered to their horror that they were twins separated at birth. This went around the world before some spoilsport blew the whistle on it. The other is an announcement by British billionaire Richard Branson that he is setting up a sperm bank for dyslexics. Branson being Branson, it’s hard to tell whether this is fake news or not, but I suspect that it is.
The problem with BioEdge, some readers tell us, is that everything sounds like fake news. This, of course, is not true; we take great care to check our sources. However, all too often the articles seem to have been composed in some gigantic facility manned by bad news elves.
In fact, when you read today’s lead story, “Euthanised organ donors could dramatically shorten waitlists in Belgium, say doctors”, I must concede that it does sound so implausible as to be fake. But it’s not a report from The Onion, but from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Go figure.
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