On Thursday March 31, the Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Committees published their annual report about 2021 (only in Dutch yet). In 2021 the percentage has increased with 0.4% compared to 2020. The Dutch Right to Die Society NVVE thinks it is a good development that more euthanasia requests are being honored. She also notes that in practice very careful action is taken, a fact that further increases public support for euthanasia.
Further increasing number of notifications
In 2021, the RTE received 7,666 notifications of euthanasia. That is 4.5% of the number of people who died in the Netherlands in that year. Both the number of reports and the percentage of the total death rate increased compared to the previous year by 10.5% and 0.4% respectively.
A careful euthanasia practice
In seven of the reports assessed in the past year, the RTE concluded that the attending physician did not act in accordance with the statutory due care criteria when applying euthanasia. This means that the vast majority of doctors act carefully. An anonymized version of these seven opinions is included in the annual report.
Slightly increased lead times
As a result of the increased number of reports and to a lesser extent as a result of the COVID-19 measures, the average time from the physician’s report to the sending of the opinion of the committees has increased by 2 days compared to last year and on came out 31 days. This is still well within the standard of 2 x six weeks.
Conditions and age of patients
89.0% of patients were older than 60 years. Also 89.0% of patients have conditions such as cancer, nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disorders, lung disorders and a combination of (usually somatic) disorders. In 2021, six patients with advanced dementia were granted euthanasia.
Read the report, the press release and the factsheet below (in Dutch only).