NRL News

New Zealand euthanasia leader makes false and misleading statement

by | Jun 2, 2015

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Jack Havill, the leader of the Euthanasia Society of New Zealand

Jack Havill, the leader of the Euthanasia Society of New Zealand

The leader of the New Zealand euthanasia lobby told the Dominion Post that if euthanasia were legalized:

“no more would die, but fewer would suffer … there is absolutely no evidence to support this in the experience of European countries and American states.”

But if we examine the statement of Jack Havill, the leader of the Euthanasia Society of New Zealand, the quote is clearly false and misleading.

In Belgium, the Netherlands, Oregon and Washington state, the number of assisted deaths has significantly increased and have been accompanied by a growth in reasons why lethal doses are injected. To avoid the accusation of fear mongering, I will simply provide the data.

The Netherlands 2013 euthanasia statistics state that there were 4,829 reported euthanasia deaths, representing an increase of 15% over 2012 and more than double the number of deaths since 2008 when there were 2,331 reported euthanasia deaths.

There were also 42 euthanasia deaths for people with psychiatric problems and 97 euthanasia deaths for people with dementia in the Netherlands. For instance:

A woman was lethally injected because she didn’t want to live in a nursing home.

A healthy woman, who was going blind, was euthanized because she was obsessed with cleanliness and feared being unable to clean the dirt on her clothes.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition predicted that there would be a continuous increase in the number and reasons for euthanasia after the Netherlands euthanasia lobby launched the mobile euthanasia teams.

The 2013 Belgian euthanasia report states that the number of reported euthanasia deaths increased by almost 27% in 2013 to 1807 reported deaths. This is  almost double the number in 2010 when there were 954 reported euthanasia deaths.

A 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine March 19, 2015, found that in the Flanders region of Belgium 4.6% of all deaths were euthanasia and 1.7% of all deaths were hastened without explicit request. Therefore approximately 1,000 deaths were hastened without explicit request in the Flanders region of Belgium in 2013.

Recently the chair of the federal euthanasia commission in Belgium stated that 50-60 psychiatric patients died by euthanasia in 2013-2014. A court challenge was launched last year based on one of the psychiatric patient that this doctor euthanized.

The 2014 Oregon assisted suicide report states that there was a 44% increase in assisted suicide deaths while the types of conditions for assisted suicide is also changing. For example, in 2014, nine deaths (8.6%) were listed as “other illnesses” which included diabetes.

The 2013 Washington state assisted suicide report states there was a 43% increase in assisted suicide deaths, representing more than double the number of known assisted suicide deaths for 2010.

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Categories: Euthanasia