The 2005 figures for legal euthanasia in the Netherlands show a slight increase on the previous year. The Regional Oversight Boards for Euthanasia says that doctors reported 1,933 cases, up from 1,886 in 2004 and 1,815 in 2003. Experts say that only about half of Dutch euthanasia cases are reported, notwithstanding government guidelines. In three cases, the doctors were referred for possible prosecution. Two of them had not consulted sufficiently with an independent doctor and one had been a personal friend of the person who died.
Dutch authorities still insist that doctors participate in euthanasia. This month a court sentenced a 49-year-old man, known as A de G, to 15 months in jail for helping a friend commit suicide with an overdose of heroin and methadone. The friend was suffering from an obsessive-compulsive neurosis. The panel of judges said that de G had not stuck to guidelines which require that a medical professional be involved.
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