Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Committees: 2007 Annual Report.

Official annual report on the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide in The Netherlands in 2007.

This is the annual report for 2007 of the five regional euthanasia review committees in The Netherlands on the working of that country’s 2002 ‘Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act’.

The report provides details of the number of reported cases of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide; the nature of the cases; the committees’ findings; and the considerations on which these were based.

The number of reported cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide rose by 10 per cent between 2006 and 2007.  This was the first rise of any significance in the incidence of such deaths since the 2002 Act came into force.  In the years 2002-2006 the trend had been more or less level and there were suggestions by some of the advocates of legalisation of assisted suicide or euthanasia that legalisation had simply stabilised the pre-2002 situation.  The 10 per cent increase between 2006 and 2007 has been followed by similar or greater year-on-year increases – to the point where in 2011 the number of reported cases was almost double the number in the first year of the Act’s operation.

The 2007 report was unable to draw any firm conclusions as to the reasons for the increase.  It observed that fluctuations had occurred in previous years within the range 1,815 (Year 2003) to 2,123 (Year 2000) and concludes that “the choices made at the end of people’s lives are still in a state of flux”.  This conclusion has not been corroborated by subsequent reports.


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