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The Regional Oversight Boards for Euthanasia indicated there were 1,933 euthanasia deaths in 2005, up from 1,886 in 2004 and 1,815 in 2003. However, the agency also said that only about half of all likely euthanasia deaths are reported to the federal government.

The nation’s law allows for mentally competent patients to say they want to end their lives. They must be terminally ill and two doctors must sign off on the decision before giving the patients the lethal drugs.

The Dutch agency that reported the new figures indicated doctors did not follow guidelines in three cases and those were referred to judicial authorities for prosecution.

Some pro-life residents of the country wear specialized bracelets telling doctors to provide them with lifesaving medical treatment if they are injured and unable to make their own medical decisions.

[Amsterdam, 3May06,]