LifeSiteNews 7 August 2015
A growing number of Dutch patients whom their family doctor is not willing to euthanize, including many who are mentally ill but otherwise healthy, are obtaining “help” at the End-of-Life Clinic that opened its doors in 2012, according to half-year statistics just released by the private organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.
In the first six months of 2015, almost as many cancer patients were killed by euthanasia at the hands of the clinic as during the whole of 2014: a total of 49 from January through June 2015, as compared to 53 in 2014.
Nineteen psychiatric patients obtained euthanasia from the End-of-Life Clinic from January to June 2015: one more than in the whole of 2014, when 18 psychiatric patients who were not dying or otherwise in bad health obtained death from the Clinic.
Compared with national euthanasia statistics – about 5,000 a year in the Netherlands – these numbers may seem insignificant. But they underscore growing pressure on the part of euthanasia activists to make access to “chosen death” more easy to obtain, especially for those patients whose suffering is not associated with intolerable pain or a terminal illness.
The End-of-Life Clinic was created three years ago by the Dutch Association for a Chosen End of Life (Nederlandse Vereniging voor een Vrijwillig Levenseinde, NVVE), with a view to catering for patients who fall within the recognized categories for legal euthanasia, but whose doctor is either unable or unwilling to honor their request.
The clinic’s offices are in The Hague but euthanasia is provided by 40 mobile teams who are expected to work within the limits of the law, mostly for patients who are in a hopeless situation but not terminally ill, dementia patients, people with psychiatric disorders and elderly people suffering from multiple but non-fatal complaints. They kill patients in the “comfort” of their own homes.
The fact that the End-of-Life Clinic can exist in the Netherlands was certainly helped by an ever-widening interpretation of the legal criteria for “careful” euthanasia – inversely, its existence is attracting more and more people to take avail of its services and in turn is causing the legal criteria to widen even more.