Human Exceptionalism

The Dutch Suicide Problem

The Dutch apparently have a real problem with suicidal desires. According to this story, there are nearly 100,000 suicide attempts each year, with about 1,600 resulting deaths. From the story: “The official figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) indicate that 1,600 people actually commit suicide each year–a number that has remained stable for a long time. This figure puts the Netherlands at number fifty in the world for incidents of suicide, and somewhere in the middle when compared to the rest of Europe. But the Trimbos institute suspects that the actual figure is much higher, since many suicides in the Netherlands are registered as traffic accidents or industrial accidents.”

Ah, but that isn’t the only manner in which the Dutch suicide statistics are skewed. Euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths are also not counted in the suicide statistics. If they were, the number of suicides each year in the Netherlands would exceed 5,000–and even that figure would be low since it is widely acknowledged that the number of euthanasia/assisted suicide deaths each year is dramatically under-reported. Including Dutch euthanasia/assisted suicide statistics in the count–which would make it more accurate–would place the Dutch suicide rate among highest in the world.

HT: Alex Schadenberg

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