Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

21% of Dutch 'back more euthanasia'

More than one in five Dutch people believe that euthanasia should be allowed for elderly people who are "tired of living", new research suggests.

Of 2,000 Dutch people polled, 21% said euthanasia should be allowed for people who no longer wish to live - even if they do not have a serious disease.

Dutch euthanasia law allows doctors to assist suicide for patients who are suffering unbearably from a medical condition with no prospect of improvement.

Hundreds of terminally ill Britons have travelled to receive assisted dying in countries where euthanasia is permitted, reports suggest.

There has been much debate in Holland as to whether euthanasia laws should be extended so doctors can help elderly people who are not seriously ill, but who are simply tired of living, to die.

Researchers decided to examine the level of public support for the matter.

While one in five agreed with the prospect, just over half disagreed and a quarter neither agreed nor disagreed.

Those who supported euthanasia for older people tired of living were more likely to be highly educated and non-religious, researchers said.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Medical Ethics, they wrote: "Although it is lower than the level of support for assistance in dying for patients whose suffering is rooted in a serious medical condition, our finding that a substantial minority of the general public supports physician assistance in dying for older people who are tired of living implies that this topic may need to be taken seriously in the debate about end-of-life decision-making."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph