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Euthanasia for 200 in first year

Published on 25/11/2003

25 November 2003

BRUSSELS –In the first year of legalised euthanasia in Belgium, 203 cases have been recorded, according to newly released figures.

The Federal Ministry for Public Health released the figures Tuesday, while an official report on euthanasia in Belgium is expected in the New Year.

Figures so far show that far more Flemish patients are requesting euthanasia than French speakers – for every two cases in French-speaking Belgium there are eight in Flanders. 

Federal Health Minister Rudy Demotte said both patients and doctors needed to be given more information about euthanasia. 

The Public Health Ministry is now examining how patients and doctors are informed about this issue in the Netherlands compared to Belgium. 

Changes to checks on compliance with the legal conditions under which euthanasia is carried out are also being considered, as well as simpler registration forms. 

Pope John Paul II on Saturday voiced his concerns regarding the practice of euthanasia in Belgium during a Vatican visit by the country’s bishops.

Subject: Belgian news