Holland and Belgium euthanasia rise 8 October 2012
Euthanasia cases in the Netherlands and Belgium, two pioneers in legalising voluntary death 10 years ago, showed equally strong increases last year, according to statistics issued separately in the neighbouring countries.
Dutch cases rose by 18 per cent to 3,695 compared to 3130 in 2010, accounting for 2.8 per cent of all Netherlands deaths. The Belgian rise was 19 per cent, from 953 in 2010 to 1,133 last year - one per cent of all deaths in Belgium. In both countries, incurable cancers were cited in the majority of cases.
The Belgian report explained the rise there by wider distribution of information about end of life options while Dutch officials were not sure about the reason behind their rise.
The Church in both countries opposes euthanasia and promotes better use of palliative care.
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