Sharp rise in euthanasia for psychiatric patients
In the first six months of this year, 18 people with severe psychiatric problems have been helped to die at a special euthanasia clinic, the NRC said on Thursday.
This is more than double the total figure of 17 in 2014 as a whole, the clinic’s first half figures show.
In addition, almost 100 psychiatric patients are on the waiting list for help, the NRC said. This is because of a shortage of psychiatrists to make the assessments and manage the requests.
The clinic was set up in 2012 to help people whose doctors are unwilling to grant euthanasia requests and operates a nationwide network of teams made up of doctors and nurses.
Euthanasia is not legal in the Netherlands but the legislation has given doctors protection from prosecution if a patient was suffering unbearably and without prospect of improvement.
Last year, some 14,000 people in the Netherlands were helped to die, most of whom were suffering from cancer.