Belgium : Over one-third of requests for euthanasia on the grounds of psychological suffering are successful

Publié le : 29 July 2015

A study carried out by 6 Belgian doctors and scientists and published in the Journal du Médecin has confirmed that, in Belgium, 35 patients out of 100 requesting euthanasia on the grounds of intolerable mental suffering were actually granted their request.

 

The study focused on euthanasia requests received between October 2007 and December 2011 from 100 patients experiencing intolerable suffering.

 

The cohort comprised patients between 21 and 80 years old with an average age of 47 years, 60 years of age being the average age taking all euthanasia requests into account. 77% of the requests came from women. Ninety of these 100 subjects presented with previously diagnosed psychiatric disorders, essentially depression or personality disorders. The results of the study showed that, “48% of the requests based on psychiatric grounds were eligible for consideration but 35 patients were, in fact, euthanized. Two people committed suicide prior to medical intervention and eleven others eventually abstained”.

 

Approximately 10% of the euthanasia procedures carried out between 2010 and 2011 concerned patients who were not in the terminal phase of their condition.

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