End of life (Belgium) > Euthanasia and assisted suicide

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Belgium - Belgium : a further extension of euthanasia

Based on texts which have already been submitted during the previous legislature, three further proposals (put forward by Mme Karin Jiroflée et al, sp.A), seeking to modify the law of May 28, 2002 on euthanasia, have just recently been laid before the Chamber of Belgian Deputies, without any specific deadline for their adoption having for the moment been defined.

The first proposal (Doc 54 1013/001) aims to authorize the act of euthanasia for patients who are unable to express their wishes themselves either because the patient is unconscious or in an advanced state due to a non-congenital cerebral condition, which means that they find themselves in the physical or psychological state mentioned in their declaration.

 The second proposal (Doc 54 1014/001) aims to modify the law of May 28, 2002 on euthanasia with regard to the duration of the validity of the pre-existing declaration. While at present such a declaration is valid for a period of 5 years, the authors of the proposal w...

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Belgium - Belgian Euthanasia Increases by 89% in four years.

Belgian Euthanasia Increases by 89% in four years.

The Act of 28 May 2002 concerning euthanasia stipulates that the Federal Committee on Oversight and Enforcement, shall biennially report to the legislature. Here is the sixth report, covering the years 2012-2013.

The report comprises firstly a statistical element, which we note here that the number of reported euthanasia has almost doubled in four years (an increase of 89%), from 953 reported in 2010 to 1,807 in 2013 euthanasia. The Commission considers that this increase is due to the "gradual release of information to the public and physicians." The deaths caused today represent 1.7% of all deaths in Belgium.

More and more people have also asked to be euthanized when their death was not expected in the short term (13% of euthanasia). These figures, however, should probably be revised upward to include some cases of euthanasia practiced, based on early reports of the end of life on irreversibly unconscious people. Indeed, the ...

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Euthanasia Policy and practice in Belgium

Belgium - Euthanasia Policy and practice in Belgium

Critical Observations and Suggestions for Improvement  


ABSTRACT: The essay opens with some background information about the context of euthanasia in Belgium. It proceeds by discussing the Belgian law on euthanasia and concerns about the law, its interpretations and implementation. Finally, the major developments and controversies since the law came into effect are discussed. Suggestions as to how to improve the Belgian law and circumscribe the practice of euthanasia are made, urging Belgian legislators and the medical establishment to refl ect and study so as to prevent potential abuse of vulnerable patients.

This article investigates and discusses the practice of euthanasia in Belgium. Its methodology is based on critical review of the literature supplemented by interviews I conducted in Belgium with leading scholars and practitioners in February 2003 and February 2005. The interviews were conducted in English, usually in the interviewees' offi ces. The interviews were sem...

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