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Euthanasia used for 4.5 percent of deaths in the Netherlands

Euthanasia used for 4.5 percent of deaths in the Netherlands

LONDON (AP) — A new review finds that euthanasia in the Netherlands has become "common practice" since its legalization a dozen years ago, accounting for 4.5 percent of deaths.

Researchers also said doctors are now reporting increasing rates of people seeking the practice who aren't terminally ill.

In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow doctors to help people die. They must be "suffering unbearably" with no hope of relief — but their condition does not have to be fatal.

By 2015, most of those who used euthanasia or assisted suicide had a serious illness but some had health problems from old age, early-stage dementia, psychiatric problems or a combination. About half of the requests were granted.

The research was published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.


Updated : 2021-03-09 13:33 GMT+08:00