Euthanasia in Belgium: 2010 and 2011.

The Report of the Federal Control and Evaluation Commission Covering the Years 2010 and 2011.

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 2010-11 (an English translation is not available).

The report shows that there were 1,133 reported cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2011.  This is nearly five times the number in the first complete year of operation of the 2002 law.  The increase in the reported incidence of euthanasia has been particularly steep since 2009, when the last biennial report was presented – a 38 per cent rise in numbers occurred between 2009 and 2011.

It is also interesting to note the disparity between the incidence of euthanasia in Dutch-speaking Flanders and in French-speaking Wallonia: 918 (81 per cent) of the 1,133 reported cases were from the former.  857 (76 per cent) of the reported cases were of persons aged 60-79 and nearly half of them (45 per cent) took place in hospital.

As in previous reports, we are told that “the commission was not able to assess the proportion of the number of euthanasias reported as against the number actually carried out”.


Download pdf