Expatica news

20 Belgians a month die by euthanasia

16 September 2004

BRUSSELS – The first major study into the effect of Belgium’s new legislation that permits euthanasia has found that around 20 terminally ill people a month ask doctors to help them to die.

The study, drawn up by a special federal commission tasked with assessing the impact of the September 2002 law, found that 259 acts of legal euthanasia were carried out in Belgium up until the end of 2003.

The vast majority of people asking to be allowed to die with dignity were suffering from terminal cancers, the survey revealed.

But perhaps the study’s most surprising finding was that euthanasia appears far more popular in Dutch speaking Flanders than in Francophone Wallonia.

Of the 259 declared acts of euthanasia, 216 or 83 percent were written in Dutch.

Only 43 French declarations, just 17 percent of the total, were made in French.

The experts on the commission said they had no explanation for why there was such a large variation between the north and south of the country.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news