In Belgium, the European Bioethics Institute (EBI), which launched an “end-of-life dignity card” in 2008, is nowadays proposing an “end-of-life” card, which has sparked fierce opposition from euthanasia supporters.
This is especially true because this card, which has been available on request to the elderly, their families, doctors and care personnel, has led “to the recognition of euthanasia as the only way to die without suffering,” explained Carine Brochier, EBI Director.
Introduced by the law of 2002, anticipated announcements, “actively relayed by the Belgian ADMD”,“allow a person to express his/her desire to end his/her life”, but “do not offer any option explicitly to express refusal of euthanasia”.
This card is also presented as a “renewed confidence pact between the patient, his/her doctor and family, and a guarantee that his/her life will be respected up until its natural termination without anyone stealing his/her death”. ForCarine Brochier, the“end-of-life” card, which is in its fifth print run since 2008, is “reassuring”. It is a satisfactory alternative offering a genuine choice. Furthermore,“even if it has no legal value, it nevertheless carries legal weighting”.
The debate fuelled by this card, which is giving the ADMD cause for concern, seems to show “that it responds to the increasing awareness of Belgian citizens faced with euthanasia”.
Note Gènéthique :
The “end-of-life card” can be ordered or downloaded free of charge from the EBI website.
Le Figaro (Camille de Pommereau) 07/09/2015 – La libre (Thierry Boutte et Valentine Van Vyve) 02/09/2015