Bruno Waterfield telegraph.co.uk Voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, where a doctor is present while a patient kills themselves, usually by drinking a strong barbiturate potion, has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002. Requests have risen steadily since 2003 when 1,626 people applied for medically administered euthanasia, in most cases by a lethal injection, or assisted suicide. As previously controversial "mercy killings" have become socially and medically acceptable, the number of cases, the vast majority of medical euthanasia, have more than doubled over the decade to 2012. One explanation for the steep rise of Dutch cases is the introduction last year of mobile euthanasia units allowing patients to be killed by volunatry lethal injection when family doctors refused. Around 80 per cent of people who request euthanasia die at home and are killed by doctors on the grounds that they are suffering unbearable pain and are making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required. Euthanasia carried out by doctors is only legal in three European countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. to read more click here: telegraph.co.uk
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