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Famous Dutch author receives euthanasia

Dutch writer J.J. Voskuil has died in what his widow said was a case of euthanasia; a practice which is legal in the Netherlands.

Voskuil, who gained literary fame in the Netherlands for his seven-volume novel ‘The Office’ (Het Bureau), died on May 1. He was 81 and had been suffering from an unspecified illness.

“My beloved husband chose a dignified end,” Lousje Voskuil-Haspers wrote in an obituary published in Dutch daily De Volkskrant on Monday.

The novel ‘The Office’ is based on Voskuil’s 30-year career at a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was aired on radio as a daily play in 2004.

The number of cases of euthanasia reported by doctors last year rose to 2,120 from 1,923 in 2006, according to official figures published last month.

In three cases the regional committees responsible for ensuring the criteria for euthanasia are adhered to, ruled that doctors had not acted in accordance with regulations. The three dossiers have been sent to the justice department and health inspectorate.

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