Assisted dying assisted suicide Euthanasia Mental Health

Euthanasia and Psychiatric issues

Research findings from Holland

A recent research report published in Holland that focussed on euthanasia and people managing mental health conditions reveals some worrying findings.

Of patients requesting an assisted death:

  • Most were aged 21-60, some as young as 12 (p27)
  • Most were women (60% vs 40%), especially in the 41-50yr age group, a higher proportion than the population. (p28)
  • 40% had a low educational level, compared with 29% of the population.(p28)
  • There were more single people (70% compared with 48% in the general population) (p30)
  • Depression was the commonest diagnosis (26.6%)(p35)
  • In men under 30yrs, ‘Neurological developmental disorder eg. autism spectrum disorder, was the commonest diagnosis (p36)
  • Of the women under 30yrs three women changed their minds immediately before being given the IV drug.(p37)
  • In women under 30yrs, ‘depressive mood disorder’ was the commonest diagnosis, with a ‘neurological behavioural disorder’ as a diagnosis in five..(p38)
  • ‘Personality disorders’ were the commonest psychiatric ‘co-morbidity’.(p47)
  • 20-50% of individuals had chemical dependency issues.(p47)
  • 48 men (48/788 – 6%) and 235 women (235/788)- 29.8%) women reported previous sexual abuse.(p49)

Follow this link to go to the full report.

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