In Belgium, the 7th report by the Commission responsible for controlling and applying the law to Legislative Assemblies has just been published. It refers to 2014/2015. Analysis by the European Bioethics Institute:
- Since 2002, 12,726 people have undergone euthanasia in Belgium.
- Euthanasia has increased by 41% in 4 years.
- General or severely debilitating cancers have been the main reason for euthanasia (67%).
- Comorbidities account for 9.7% of euthanasia cases: “The elderly are mostly affected: numerous physical disabilities coupled with dependence, solitude and despair – social factors mentioned in the Commission’s Report – account for the reasoning behind and implementation of euthanasia in almost 385 cases”. Euthanasia can also affect people who are not at the end of their lives.
- The report also shows that, “in two years, 124 people with mental and behavioural disorders underwent euthanasia. Out of these 124 people, 41 were suffering from depression and 36 from Alzheimer’s disease”.
The European Bioethics Institute believes that it is high time to review the “stakes involved in terms of care and family and social involvement”, “to ensure that euthanasia does not become the ‘rapid response’ to the suffering of vulnerable people”.
Institut européen de bioéthique (19/10/2016)