Euthanasia for psychiatric reasons in the Netherlands

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The journal JAMA Psychiatry recently published a study on February 10, 2016 examining euthanasia for psychiatric reasons in the Netherlands by researchers Scott Y. H. Kim, MD, PhD; Raymond G. De Vries, PhD; John R. Peteet, MD.

The study examined 66 cases of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons between 2011 and 2014. The data for this study was provided by the Netherlands Regional Review Committee.

It should be noted that the euthanasia reports are submitted by the doctor who causes the death, after the person dies by lethal injection. Therefore the data, as bad as it may appear, may not uncover all of the problems since doctors are self-reporting the euthanasia deaths, a system that enables physicians to hide information that may be controversial.

The Netherlands 2014 euthanasia report stated that there were 41 euthanasia deaths for psychiatric reasons and 81 people with dementia died by euthanasia.

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