Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Belgian doctor charged with murder of four patients.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

CHR van Hoei Hospital
A doctor in Belgium has been charged with murder in the deaths of four patients in the palliative care department of the CHR van Hoei Hospital. 

An article published by Nieuwsblad.be stated (google translated):
The court has suspected a doctor from Tihange of four murders. The man, who worked in the palliative care department of the CHR van Hoei Hospital, is believed to have killed at least four patients with a syringe of morphine mixed with other substances. "Because they were suffering". 
The four victims fell in one weekend in 2017, when the doctor was on duty. The investigation started after an anonymous complaint that had arrived at the hospital. 
The court is also investigating four other "irregular deaths that did not proceed according to the law on euthanasia". Two cases of patients who survived the deadly syringe are also being investigated. 
The doctor, who has since been dismissed, was arrested but released under strict conditions. He must keep himself available to the judiciary.
Even though Belgium has the most tolerant euthanasia laws, they still have doctors who are killing outside of the law. It also sounds like the doctor is using a "mercy killing" defense to suggest that he had no choice because they were suffering.

The Belgian government has not dealt with the fact that a 2015 study showed that more than 1000 people died by assisted death without request in 2013. In every jurisdiction in the world, data, such as this would create great concern, but in Belgium it is simply a statistic.

Euthanasia is problematic because, what is properly defined as murder becomes a legal act when a doctor follows the protocol. The doctor who doesn't follow the protocol breaks the law. The crime is then breaking the protocol and not murder and yet from the beginning it is murder.

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