In the first of a two-part series on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, Global Journalist examines the issue in the Netherlands – the first country to legalize euthanasia.
Over the past decade the number of Dutch choosing to have a doctor end their lives voluntarily has climbed to nearly 7,000 per year, or about 4 percent of all deaths in the country.
This includes physically healthy people with dementia and psychological disorders that haven’t responded to treatment. Though euthanasia retains broad public support in the country, as the range of people eligible has expanded, so too has criticism of the process in which it’s carried out.
On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the Dutch experience and what lessons it holds for other countries grappling with physician-assisted suicide.