Study: "Tired of living" and dementia are common reasons for euthanasia at Dutch euthanasia clinic

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

A study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzing the euthanasia deaths in the first year of operation at the Netherlands euthanasia clinic appears to have been done to prove that euthanasia is being done carefully at the clinic. 

The study: A study of the First Year of the End-of-Life Clinic for Physician-Assisted Dying in the Netherlands was published online on August 10, 2015.

The data shows that in its first year of operation (March 1, 2012 - March 1, 2013) the Netherlands euthanasia clinic received 645 requests for assisted death and lethally injected 162 people. 

Of the 162 who died by an assisted death, the data indicates that 6 assisted deaths were done for psychological reasons, 21 assisted deaths were done for cognitive decline, such as dementia and 11 assisted deaths were done based on "tired of living." Tired of living means that the person does not have any specific illness.

The study indicates that woman represented 62% (Table 1) of the requests for euthanasia and 65% (Table 3) of the euthanasia deaths.

This study represented the first year of operation for the euthanasia clinic. A recent news report indicated that the number of euthanasia deaths for psychiatric patients has increased substantially.

Link to the full article

Book Review: Do You Call This A Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands' Right-to-Die Laws

Purchase the book or DVD: Do You Call This A Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands' Right-to-Die Laws for: $20 for the book or $10 for the DVD of van Loenen's talk in Ottawa or (book and the DVD for $25) includes postage from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) by calling: 1-877-439-3348 or email:

Do You Call this a Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands’ Right-to-Die Laws. By Gerbert van Loenen.

Book Review by Paul Russell; the director of HOPE Australia and the Vice Chair of EPC-International

What do you want to do when you leave school?” A casual conversation starter I think I’ve probably had with each of my children at some point – even repeatedly. It had an additional context when I raised it with Joseph recently in a quiet moment. 

Joseph, in his fourteen years had had probably more prospective careers than most of us could think of; ranging from a long period when he was convinced he would be a priest to only recently wanting to ‘go into business’ operating a pizzeria out of our kitchen (Mum had other ideas!). 

Sometimes this kind of exchange is simply banter; a time filler exploring the thoughts and ideas of a child with ever-expanding horizons as the world opens up before him or her.

“A firefighter, Dad!” “But Joseph, the fire brigade probably won’t accept someone with Down syndrome, mate. It just won’t happen.” 

Okay! I know! That sounds like a harsh response, but it’s not. Joseph and I have great conversations about all sorts of things. Anne and I are also as firmly committed to providing him with the very best educational and emotional platform we can. But we’ve done that for all our children, so that’s hardly surprising, even if fleshing that out requires somewhat a different approach from the others.

Link to the full review

Paul Russell: A statement we should all fear

By Paul Russell, the director of HOPE Australia and Vice Chair - EPC International

The article was published on the HOPE Australia website on March 4, 2015.

Paul Russell

Paul Russell

The theory and the practice of euthanasia simply don’t match and the rhetoric and reality are miles apart.

Dutch activist Dr Rob Jonquiere, head of the world body pressing for euthanasia, is in New Zealand peddling euthanasia up and down the country.

He has said some outrageous things, some of which I tackle below. But the most outrageous statement, one that we should all fear, he gave recently to the New Zealand media:

"Sometimes the only way to terminate the suffering is to take away the life."

‘What’s so outrageous about that?’ you may ask. Well, perhaps those who are used to hearing pro-euthanasia peddlers talking about people dying in pain might not notice immediately. But Jonquiere is not talking about pain, he’s talking about suffering. There’s a significant difference; one that should ring alarm bells.

Link to the full article

Euthanasia is contagious.

Euthanasia live without.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Newsweek published an extensive article titled: Dying Dutch. The article focuses on stories supporting euthanasia and assisted suicide and information from people like Theo Boer, who, for nine years was a member of a Euthanasia Evaluation Committee but now opposes it, because euthanasia in the Netherlands has become out-of-control.

Under the heading - Death is Contagious, The Newsweek article reports:

In the first few years after the Netherlands decriminalized euthanasia in 2002, the number of cases declined. Then, in 2007, the statistics began a steady climb, an average jump of 15 percent a year...

Theo Boer, the ethicist, has some theories. Once a supporter of euthanasia, he’s now one of its most vocal critics. Among the reasons for the euthanasia boom, Boer suggests, is propaganda. Over the past decade, he says, Dutch journalist Gerbert van Loenen has been tracking a series of documentary films that depict euthanasia in a wholly positive light. “They do ask certain questions,” Boer says. “But they systematically ignore most critical questions, so that the general public is presented with an opinion that is completely good, and has no risks. This is contagious.”

The number of deaths and the reasons for euthanasia is growing.

Link to the full article.

Blurred boundaries in the Netherlands' Right-to-Die Laws

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Gerbert van Loenen book

Barbara Kay, a National Post columnist, has published two articles outlining the indepth analysis by the Dutch journalist, Gerbert van Loenen, who is publishing an english translation of his book that is titled: Do You Call This a Life? Blurred Boundaries in the Netherlands’ Right-to-Die Laws.

In the past, van Loenen supported the Netherlands euthanasia law, but after his significant relationship became disabled, his experience caused him to question.

Kay outlines new information from van Loenen's book that was gathered from Dutch sources and articles. Much of the information has not been reported by the english media and almost none of the information has been presented through the lens of a Dutch journalist who has personally experienced the social change that resulted from the legalisation of euthanasia.

In her first article (National Post - January 28), Kay focused on the meaning of the Dutch euthanasia law. Most people view euthanasia as a form of "self-determination," but van Loenen explains why that is not the reason that the Netherlands legalized euthanasia. Kay wrote:

Link to the full article.

Dutch “Better Killed than Disabled” Bigotry

This article was originally published on Wesley Smith's blog.

By Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

I have been reporting on the non-voluntary euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands for more than 20 years, the infanticide, euthanasia of the elderly “tired of life,” psychiatrists killing the mentally ill.

Often people hear this truth and yawn, “Oh, hum–but Brittany Maynard!”

Now, Gerbert van Loenen – a Dutch (once) euthanasia supporting journalist whose partner became disabled only to experience disdain from friends and doctors–has written a book that exposes a pronounced Netherlander death-is-better-than-disabled cultural attitudes. From a review by Barbara Kay in the National Post of Do You Call This a Life?

van Loenen found himself brooding over certain friends’ reactions to their situation. “It would have been better if he had died,” one said at the outset.
Another told Niek when he expressed frustration, “You choose to go on living, so you have no right to complain.” Once “an average Dutchman who thought of euthanasia as one of the crown jewels of our liberal country,” van Loenen became “someone who was shocked by the harsh tone used by the Dutch when they talked about handicapped life.”

Link to the full article