On Thursday, April 11, the Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Committees published their annual report about 2018 (only in Dutch yet).
Slight decrease (for the first time)
In 2018 for the first time there was a slight decrease in the number of reports of euthanasia to the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees; from 6585 in 2017 to now 6126 in 2018. This is a decrease of approximately 7% and with this, euthanasia accounts for 4% of the total number of deaths in 2018 (compared to 4,4% in 2017). Six cases were judged as ‘not according to the due care criteria’. In 2017 this happened twelve times.
Patients with advanced dementia and psychiatric disorders
The social debate in 2018 focused in particular on the interpretation of requests from patients with advanced dementia and from patients with a psychiatric disorder. These both groups form a very small part (1%) of the reason for a euthanasia request. In 2018 too, by far the majority (90.6%) were hopeless and unbearable suffering as a result of an incurable or treated disease. In more than 72% it was a form of cancer that cannot be cured anymore.
There will also appear an English version on the English part of the Dutch Review Committees website (under: annual reports).