Health

Dutch Suicide Rates Rise after Launch of Mobile Death Squads

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One in 30 deaths in Holland is caused by approved doctor-administered lethal drugs, also known as euthanasia, the Daily Mail reports.

The number of deaths rose by 13 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. This comes after the Dutch government introduced mobile euthanasia units last year. The Netherlands first legalized euthanasia back in 2002, becoming the first country to do so since Nazi Germany.

Euthanasia is performed by a doctor administering a strong sedative to put terminally ill patients who are facing unbearable suffering, in a coma, followed by a drug to stop breathing and cause death.

The Dutch government could provide no certain reason in the increase of euthanasia deaths. Holland first introduced the mobile euthanasia units to be used in cases where doctors refused to administer lethal drugs on ethical grounds.

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Advocates for the use of euthanasia said they would end the lives of an additional 1,000 ‘borderline’ patients a year. But opponents of euthanasia think the legalization of it gives people the wrong impression.

“The Dutch experience shows that euthanasia becomes routine,” Elspeth Chowdharay-Best, the honorary secretary of Alert told the Daily Mail. “It traps more and more people into thinking they ought to leave this world prematurely.”

Last year, Belgium saw a 2 percent increase in the number of euthanasia deaths, rising from 1,133 in 2011 to 1,432 in 2012. Similarly, in the U.S, the state of Washington physician suicide deaths increased by 17 percent in 2012 from the previous year.

Not all countries are following the same or similar paths as the Netherlands. Australia Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie released a statement yesterday that petitions asking for assisted suicide or euthanasia were rejected, according to the Brisebane Times.

Sources: Daily Mail, Brisebane Times