Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Belgium considering euthanasia for children and people with alzheimer's

The AAP news published an article today stating that the Belgium government is considering changes to their euthanasia law that would enable doctors to cause death by euthanasia of children and people with Alzheimer's or dementia.

The proposed changes to the euthanasia law in Belgium must be strongly challenged, especially since a recent 10 year review of the Belgium euthanasia law indicates that euthanasia is out-of-control in Belgium.

The Belgium Euthanasia model is in serious need of review, not expansion. The Belgium Euthanasia Model:
* The reporting process in Belgium does not protect vulnerable patients. The patient is dead before the report is submitted (after the death reporting). A study that was published in the BMJ - Nov 2010 found that 47% of the euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were not reported.

* A study published in the CMAJ - June 2010 found that 32% of the euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were done without request or consent.

* There are no reports of doctors who were prosecuted in Belgium for ignoring the safeguards.

* Belgium requires doctors to approve and carry-out euthanasia. It is illegal for nurses to euthanize a patient in Belgium. A study published in the CMAJ - June 2010 found that 45% of the euthanasia deaths done by nurses were done without request or consent.

Belgium does not protect vulnerable people from euthanasia.

The AAP article stated:
The proposed changes to the law were submitted to parliament Tuesday by the Socialist party and are likely to be approved by other parties, although no date has yet been put forward for a parliamentary debate. 
"The idea is to update the law to take better account of dramatic situations and extremely harrowing cases we must find a response to," party leader Thierry Giet said. 
The draft legislation calls for "the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate." 
Belgium was the second country in the world after the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia in 2002 but it applies only to people over the age of 18. 
Socialist Senator Philippe Mahoux, who helped draft the proposed changes, said there had been cases of adolescents who "had the capacity to decide" their future. 
He said parliamentarians would also consider extended mercy-killing to people suffering from Alzheimer's-type illnesses. 
Euthanasia was allowed to an Alzheimer's patient for the first time in the Netherlands last year. 
In Belgium, some 1,133 cases - mostly for terminal cancer - were recorded in 2011, about one percent of all deaths in the country, according to official figures. 
A seriously ill prisoner serving a long jail sentence this year became the first inmate to die under Belgium's euthanasia laws.
Link to my blog article concerning 23% of assisted deaths in the Netherlands not being reported.
It is important to note that the article states that there were 1133 reported cases of euthanasia in 2011 and yet studies indicate that up to 47% of all euthanasia deaths go unreported.
The book, Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide uncovers the data proving that unreported euthanasia deaths and the abuse of the euthanasia laws in jurisdictions where it is legal, such as euthanasia deaths without request, not only occurs but represents a threat to vulnerable patients.  

Order the book: Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Link.

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