Majority of Netherlands euthanasia requests come from cancer patients

Sept. 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Euthanasia requests in the Netherlands rose by 13 percent in 2012 to 4,188, with the majority from cancer patients, health officials said.

Those with dementia and severe psychiatric problems also applied for approval, the reported.

The oversight committees, which are charged with ensuring the legality of euthanasia, ruled doctors did not meet all the conditions in just 10 of last year's cases.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, but only if the patient is in unbearable pain. A second doctor's opinion is also required.

The requests have steadily risen since 2006, when 1,923 people applied for euthanasia.

Researchers said the rise is likely due to the greater acceptance of assisted suicide.

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