In the Netherlands the number of deaths by euthanasia increased by 64 per cent between 2005 and 2010. The population grew by two per cent during the same period. Disabled newborn babies, including babies with spina bifida, are euthanised under the Groningen protocol, on the grounds of "their perceived future suffering or that of their parents." The Dutch are now discussing euthanasia for people with dementia, despite huge concens about informed consent.
Belgium is currently considering extending euthanasia to children. Euthanasia in Belgium has begun for organ donation, and for prisoners.
A new coalition, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Europe, has just been launched to protect vulnerable people in Europe from the threat of euthanasia.
Says the organisation's co-ordinator, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick of Not Dead Yet UK: "The UK, France and Germany are currently considering legislation, but overwhelming evidence from jurisdictions where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is legal, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, demonstrates beyond doubt how quickly and how easily euthanasia is extended to others, especially disabled people and elderly people.
"High profile cases have provoked international outrage, leading communicators to think of Belgium as the new world leader in exploiting euthanasia against those with disabilities and mental health issues."
The coalition's aims are to oppose the legislation of euthanasia and assisted suicide and work to repeal existing laws allowing them; to promote the best care and support for vulnerable people who are sick, elderly or disabled; and to affirm life through helping people find meaning, purpose and hope in the face of suffering and despair.
We wish them well.