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Euthanasia guides adopted in Netherlands

Aug. 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM   |   Comments

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- An agreement on joint guidelines on euthanasia was reached between the associations representing doctors and pharmacists in the Netherlands, officials said.

The new guidelines, agreed to Tuesday, replace those developed five years ago by the pharmacists, DutchNews.nl reported.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions, such as a patient "suffering unbearably" and the attending doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. A second opinion also is required.

"The guidelines not only contain technical information about ... the amount of a drug to be administered, but also explain for the first time why a certain method has been chosen," a dispensing chemists association spokesman said.

The number of reported deaths by euthanasia rose 13 percent to 2,636 in 2009, DutchNews.nl reported. About 80 percent of people who chose euthanasia die at home.

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