Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Loneliness and learning disability: is it a silent killer?

Trigger warning: suicide

Last May, research showed people under 30 years with autism and a learning disability had been choosing euthanasia in the Netherlands. In most cases, those who chose to end their lives were older with illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s, and the neurological disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. But some were much younger and gave only their autism or learning disability as the reason they wanted to die. Researchers in the Netherlands and the UK examined the records of more than 900 people who have ended their lives. They found that between 2012 and 2021, 60,000 people chose to die in the Netherlands. Dutch authorities


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