ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, August 21   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



End of life
 

Belgium debates euthanasia for psychological pain

One in fifty Belgians dies euthanised. In 2015, there were more than 2,000 euthanasia cases, an average of six per day.

AUTHOR Joëlle Philippe BRUSSELS 27 OCTOBER 2016 16:23 h GMT+1
Laura, suffering from depression, decided not to terminate her life a few hours before her euthanasia was scheduled. / The Economist

The Belgian Commission on Euthanasia Control (CFCEE) has published its new biennial report, which concluded that one in fifty dies euthanised.



The year 2015 hit the record of more than 2,000 euthanasia cases, which means an average of six per day.



During the 2014-2015 period, 124 of the cases were related to a “mental and behavioural” disorder. This is the first report  published after the controversy started on public arena last year and it was presented in the Parliament on October, 7.



In October 2015, the CFCEE decided not to endorse the euthanasia of a 85-years-old women suffering depression. For the first time in 12 years –the law on euthanasia was passed in 2003-, the commission decided to send the case to the courts.



Even though the percentage of euthanasia for psychological illness is low (around 3% of the total), there have been several other individual cases that appeared in the media and have fuelled the debate surrounding euthanasia for mentally ill.



Euthanasia is legal in Belgium if the patient is in a state of constant physical or psychological pain. The doctor has to get a second medical opinion on the “incurable” and “serious” character of the suffering and will make sure of the will and repetition of the demand of the patient. In cases of psychological illness, a psychiatrist also has to be consulted.



 



THE CASE OF LAURA



What some experts question is the “unbearable” qualification for psychological pain as there is often a possibility of remission. Laura, a 24-year-old woman, stated in front of the camera that she wanted to die. On a documentary filmed for The Economist, “24 & ready to die”, her psychiatrist explained that she had agreed to her demand because her suffering was “incurable” and “unbearable”.



Nonetheless, Laura decided not to terminate her life a few hours before her euthanasia was scheduled. “I cannot do it because the previous two weeks were relatively bearable”, she said.



 



TAKING DECISIONS UNDER EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION



For Ariana Bazan, Professor of psychological sciences at Université Libre de Bruxelles, the problem lies in the fact that to estimate the “incurability” of the illness “we can only base our decision on what the patient says”.



She explains in an interview for the Belgian newspaper Le Soir: “To decide for people who are suffering from deep depression is very hard, because their illness tells them precisely that there is no hope any more”.



Bazan points at the fact that there are other resources for these patients, but that “the mental health sector is in crisis” and “we cannot say today we have tried everything we can for these patients”.



Frédéric Sumois, the journalist that covers health topics for Le Soir, questions the law: “In 2002, even the stronger supporters for the law agreed that it would only be a progress law if […] society offered at the same time all the best medical resources that are possible”.



 



EUTHANASIA FOR CHILDREN



Belgium is one of the first countries to have legalised euthanasia for children, in 2014. A minor suffering from a terminal illness was euthanised in September 2016 for the first time.  



Read more news and Christian perspectives on euthanasia here


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Belgium debates euthanasia for psychological pain
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth

“It is not our initiative, it is not working for ourselves, it is gazing to Jesus and responding to Him. It is the language of inclining the heart that we see in Psalms”, said  Peter Mead, Director of Cor Deo.

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.