Thursday, 29 May 2014

Belgian euthanasia deaths increase by 26.8% in 2013.


By Alex Schadenberg

International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The 2013 Belgian euthanasia report indicates that the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 26.8% in 2013 to 1816 reported deaths


Sign the EPC - Europe Petition demanding a moratorium on euthanasia in Belgium.
In 2012 the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 25% to 1432 reported deaths. 

The Belgian euthanasia reports indicate that the number of reported euthanasia deaths continue to grow at a faster rate. In Belgium, there were 1133 reported euthanasia deaths in 2011 and 954 reported euthanasia deaths in 2010.

At the same time Belgium has recently extended euthanasia to children. The child euthanasia bill was passed after protests against the bill were held in Brussels and 160 Belgian Paediatricians denounced the child euthanasia bill.

Studies concerning the Belgian euthanasia law that were published in 2010, from the Flanders region of Belgium found that: 32% of all assisted deaths were done without request, 47% of all assisted deaths went unreported, nurses were euthanizing patients even though the Belgian euthanasia law prohibits nurses from doing euthanasia. There has never been an attempted prosecution for abuses of the Belgian euthanasia law.

In Canada, the Qu├ębec government should be very concerned about the practice of euthanasia in Belgium since they have basedeuthanasia Bill 52 on the Belgian euthanasia law.

In January, the Belgian media reported that a euthanasia doctor admitted to not reporting his euthanasia deaths. The article confirms that many euthanasia deaths in Belgium are not reported and the actual number of euthanasia deaths is much higher than 1816.

In February, Dr Tom Mortier launched an official complaint against the doctor who euthanized his healthy mother who was living with depression. Mortier questioned:
"how it is possible for euthanasia to be performed on physically healthy people"
In April 2014, a 20-year-old Belgian woman, named Margot launched a second official complaint against the same euthanasia doctor in response to the euthanasia death of her 47-year-old mother who was physically healthy but living with depression. Margot asked
"how could someone who has not even received treatment for depression, get euthanasia?"
There are also serious questions being asked concerning the purpose and effectiveness of the Belgian euthanasia control and evaluation committee. The President of this committee is the leading euthanasia doctor in Belgium who also operates a euthanasia clinic with half of the membership of the committee composed of members of the euthanasia lobby.

In November 2013, I debated Dr Jan Bernheim, one of the pioneers of the Belgian euthanasia law. During the debate in Brussels I quoted from the earlier studies showing that euthanasia deaths were occurring without request, that euthanasia deaths were not being reported and that nurses were ignoring the law and euthanizing their patients. Bernheim responded to those statements by saying:
"There are problems with the Belgian euthanasia law."
I responded by saying:
"That is cold comfort for the dead."
The safeguards and controls in the Belgian euthanasia law do not work. The Belgian government needs establish a moratorium on its euthanasia program and re-evaluate its euthanasia law, or the number of euthanasia deaths will continue to grow exponentially.

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