Doctors wary of euthanasia for dementia

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Just 33 percent of Dutch doctors are willing to use euthanasia in cases of early dementia, a national survey conducted by three university hospitals shows.

The poll was carried out by the university hospitals of Utrecht, Groningen and Rotterdam, a television programme reported on Saturday.

People with dementia are only able to give their consent to euthanasia in the early stages of the disease.

In the later stages, patients are too disoriented to make informed decisions.

The number of people with dementia who have resorted to euthanasia has risen from three in 2006 to 21 in 2010.

The overall number of cases of euthanasia has also risen: in 2006 the body responsible for the judicial review of euthanasia cases was informed of 1,900 cases, compared with 2,700 in 2010.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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