Euthanasia in Belgium: 2008 and 2009.

he Report of the Federal Control and Evaluation Commission Covering the Years 2008 and 2009 .

Belgium legalised voluntary euthanasia in 2002 for persons who are legally competent and “in a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated, resulting from a serious and incurable disorder caused by illness or accident”.  The 2002 Act created a Federal Control and Evaluation Commission (FCEC) to report biannually on the operation of the law.

Here we provide the French-language version of the FCEC report for Years 2008-09 (an English translation is not available).

The report reveals that there were 822 reported cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2009. This represent an increase of 350 per cent on the first complete year (2003) following enactment of Belgium’s euthanasia law, when 235 cases were reported.  The incidence of euthanasia has risen steadily since legalisation, with a sharp upturn observable after 2006.

As will be seen from the subsequent report (covering the years 2010 and 2011), the numbers have continued to rise – to the point where in 2011 the incidence of reported euthanasia was nearly five times that of 2003.  The FCEC report comments that “the commission has not been able to assess the number of cases of euthanasia reported as against the numbers which actually took place”.


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