Wesley J. Smith wrote about the most recent statistics available on the number of deaths caused by euthanasia in the Netherlands. The official report as reported in the Lancet notes that only 2.8% of all deaths in the Netherlands were the result of euthanasia. The truth is about a decimal point off, however, and Smith explains why.
First, the report also notes that only 77% of all cases of euthanasia were reported to a review committee. That means 23% of deaths by euthanasia were not reported, raising the total number to 3.5%. But this leaves out the deaths involving terminal sedation, which is nothing more than “slow motion euthanasia.” The practice of terminal sedation involves sedating a person to the point of unconsciousness, and then depriving them of food and water until they die. In 2012 a full 12.3% of people were killed this way! Since approximately 2% of people are so close to death when they receive terminal sedation that they die of their disease before they die of dehydration, we can reduce this number to approximately 10%. That means that nearly 14% of deaths in the Netherlands are caused by doctors actively killing the patients.
It gets worse. The 14% figure is based on the total number of deaths. Given the fact that approximately half of all deaths do not involve end-of-life medical decisions (accidents, heart attacks), the reality is that approximately 28% of all deaths involving end-of-life decision making are the result of intentional killing by the medical community! Of course, the headline “28% of deaths involving end-of-life medical care caused by suicide at the hands of doctors!” doesn’t sound nearly as good as “Only 2.8% of Dutch die by euthanasia.” You’ve got to be careful when it comes to stats. If you’re not careful, they (stats and Dutch doctors) will kill you.