The world’s first mobile team to administer euthanasia in patients’ homes will be launched next month.
Units will be dispatched when family doctors refuse to administer lethal drugs on ‘ethical’ grounds.
They are expected to send the number of euthanasia cases in Holland soaring, with pro-campaigners claiming they will end the lives of an additional 1,000 patients a year.
Officially, 2,700 Dutch people a year choose assisted suicide, but critics say the real figure is far higher.
The launch of the first unit, which will consist of at least a doctor and a nurse, was confirmed on Radio Netherlands by the country’s Right to Die Association. The group confirmed the unit in The Hague will be the first of six that will target borderline cases in which family GPs are reluctant to administer euthanasia. It is likely to be used with mentally ill patients or those with early dementia, involving the patient’s GP only 'if possible', the association has said.
The group has previously claimed that 80 per cent of people with dementia or mental illnesses were being 'missed' by the country’s euthanasia laws.