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Last year the number of euthanasia cases registered [in Holland] went up by ten percent compared to 2007. The five regional euthanasia vetting committees say in their annual report that 2,300 cases were reported. They are expecting a further increase in the current year.

According to the committees the rise is due to a new law on euthanasia which was introduced in 2002, which made a clearer distinction between several kinds of treatment. The difference between palliative sedation – administering pain killers but not actively bringing about the death of the patient – and actual euthanasia has been made clearer.

It is thought that the more strict definitions cause doctors to report euthanasia more often, instead of reporting the use palliative sedation.

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