End of life

Belgium Euthanasia, 20 years later

Author / Source : L. Vanbellingen Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 10 min.

Euthanasia, 20 years later

On 28 May 2002, Belgium became the second country to decriminalise euthanasia, i.e. the act of "intentionally ending a person's life at the latter's request" because of his state of health. After twenty years of applying the Belgian law on euthanasia, and given the current critical debates on the subject, it is essential to take stock of the practice of euthanasia in Belgium and draw some perspectives on its recent and future developments.

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Belgium Euthanasia of minors in Belgium

Author / Source : Jean-Paul Van De Walle Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 13 min.

On 28 February 2014 a law was enacted "amending the Act of 28 May 2002 on euthanasia in order to extend it to minors"1. Belgium thus became the first and only country to authorise euthanasia of minors without specifying that any conditions with respect to their age should be met. Some people welcomed it, underlining the "pioneering" role Belgium played in establishing a legal framework for euthanasia, which was presented as the ultimate "humanitarian act" of which any patient, major or...

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Are people in a persistent vegetative state "Vegetables" ?

Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 12 min.

Playing tennis in your head The case which has clearly contributed the most to broadcasting the issue of people in a persistent vegetative state is the one of Terri Schiavo.  In medical history, persistent vegetative state (PVS) is relatively recent (start of the 70s). The technical developments in intensive care made during the 60s have in effect allowed patients, showing a serious deterioration of brain functioning, to survive. Most recently, two teams - one directed by the ...

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Belgium Does the Belgian model of integrated palliative care distort palliative care practice?

Author / Source : Raphaëlle d'Yvoire Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 25 min.

The purpose of this report is to describe the Belgian model of end of life care that, since 2002, has aimed at developing "palliative care for all", while nonetheless authorizing the practice of euthanasia under certain conditions. The thirteen years since the passage of this decree have culminated in a clash between two opinions:  * one affirms that the decriminalization of euthanasia has truly enabled the development of continuous, palliative care; * the other, conversely, stresses that ...

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Netherlands Euthanasia of newborns and the Groningen Protocol

Author / Source : B. Debois et J. Zeegers Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 21 min.

Until now, only three countries in the world have decriminalised euthanasia: the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. This practice is available only to people who are mentally competent when they apply (if necessary, via a declaration in advance requesting euthanasia). A notable exception to the voluntary nature of the request for euthanasia concerns newborns who face suffering that is deemed intolerable and who have no prospect of enjoying an acceptable “quality of life” at any point in the ...

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Belgium Euthanasia in Belgium : 10 years on

Author / Source : EIB Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 21 min.

Euthanasia in Belgium : 10 years on

May 28, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the legalisation of euthanasia in Belgium,  with the Netherlands following suit a year earlier and Luxembourg doing the same in 2009 6. To date, these three Benelux countries are the only ones to have legalised the act of intentionally killing a person who makes such a request. At a time when legalisation of euthanasia is being debated in several European countries, notably in France, it would appear appropriate to take stock of the last 10 years of ...

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Ethical points in caring for people nearing end-of-life

Author / Source : Etienne MONTERO Published on : Thematic : End of life / Files Temps de lecture : 18 min.

Ethical points in caring for people nearing end-of-life

The media has focussed on extreme cases which have been brought to public attention because of their particularly dramatic nature. Thus, the discussion has largely been based around certain "unusual" situations with high emotional stakes. Because of this, the complex and sensitive public debate surrounding the end of life is all too often reduced to a few paltry clichés and stereotypes built on feelings rather than an exchange of rational arguments. There is no end to specialised publications ...

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