Friday, August 26, 2011

Euthanasia is out-of-control in Belgium.

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Rise in euthanasia deaths in Belgium

The Belgian news is reporting that the number of euthanasia deaths in Belgium has once again risen. English link. The article states that:
reports on the latest figures from the (Belgium) federal monitoring agency. With more than 85 declared cases per month since the start of this year, there will be more than 1,000 deaths by euthanasia in 2011, as opposed to 954 in 2010.
The report then comments on the inequality of reporting in Belgium. The article states that:
Another "bizarre" fact highlighted by the statistics is that 84% of euthanasia cases are reported in Flemish, “which indicates that Francophone doctors are ‘declaring’ fewer cases or are less likely to ‘practice’ euthanasia.” The state monitoring agency is reluctant to draw conclusions, but wonders about the impact of "information made available to the public and doctors, as well as socio-cultural differences, and differences in medical care for the terminally ill."
Under-reporting of euthanasia in Belgium

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ Oct 2010) concluded that euthanasia deaths are significantly under-reported in the Flemish region of Belgium. The study found that only 52.8% of euthanasia deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium were reported.

The 2010 euthanasia statistics indicate that 84% of all reported euthanasia deaths were from the Flemish region of Belgium. The media report suggests that there may also be a significant problem with under-reporting of euthanasia deaths in the French region of Belgium.

Deaths without request or consent

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ May 17, 2010) concluded that 32% of euthanasia deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium are done without explicit request or consent. A similar study that was also published in the (CMAJ May 17, 2010) concluded that 45% of euthanasia deaths that were done by nurses in the Flemish region of Belgium were done without explicit request or consent.

The recent studies concerning the under-reporting of euthanasia and euthanasia being done without request or consent proves that the actual practice of euthanasia is not accurately represented in the annual Belgium government report.

Expansion of criteria for euthanasia in Belgium

At the same time political debate has been happening concerning the expansion of euthanasia in Belgium. Recent reports suggest that political debate continues to occur concerning the inclusion of teenagers, infants and children with disabilities and people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Organ Transplant and Euthanasia in Belgium

Euthanasia is also being promoted as a social good in Belgium within the concept of euthanasia and organ transplant. The issue of organ transplants is another reason to steer people, who have healthy organs but also have a life threatening or chronic condition, toward death by organ transplant.

The euthanasia lobby continues to wave the flag of choice and autonomy when at the same time the practice of euthanasia in Belgium is under-reported, is being done without request, is being done to people who cannot consent (Alzheimer/Dementia) and by subtly pressuring people with healthy organs to give the “gift of life”.

When the Quebec government – Dying with Dignity commission muses about opening the doors to “Belgium style” euthanasia and when the BC Civil Liberties Association (Carter case) tells the court that euthanasia safeguards are working in other jurisdictions, we need to state the truth loud and clear.

1 comment:

Nena said...

Belgium: "Logan's Run" has just begun!