Expatica news

GPs must decide on time over euthanasia

27 March 2006

BRUSSELS — Doctors must ensure in future that they inform their patients on time whether they are prepared to perform euthanasia.

The recommendation has been included in the ethical guidelines for medical professionals that there amended last week.

Informing a patient on time gives them a chance to consult another doctor before they become too sick, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Monday.

Currently, some doctors refuse at the last moment to perform euthanasia due to ethical reasons, while some doctors avoid or ignore the question.

This will not be possible in future under the revised guidelines.

“This is only to avoid misunderstandings,” the deputy head of the Order of Doctors, Ivo Uyttendaele, said

“The deontological code is no longer compatible to the new laws over euthanasia, patient rights and palliative care.

“Now that these laws have been used in practice for several years, the association has amended the code.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and the Muslim Executive are jointly opposed to political calls to widen euthanasia laws allowing patients with dementia to undergo a mercy killing.

Cardinal Godfried Daneels is also trying to organise a united religious front of Christians, Jews and Muslims against euthanasia on dementia patients.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news