ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, February 20   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
Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



End of life
 

Euthanasia deaths increase in Belgium by 27% every year

The largest increase in euthanasia cases is among people that are not expected to die in the near future. Belgium is the first country in the world with no age restrictions for euthanasia.

SOURCES Catholic News Service, Evangelical Focus, Reuters AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 19 JANUARY 2018 09:15 h GMT+1
View of Brussels. Thomas Lambert. Unsplash.

Belgium became the second country in the world to legalize euthanasia in 2002, right after the Netherlands.



The law allows euthanasia if the patient is in a state of constant physical or psychological pain. To have a deadly deadly illness is not a prerequisite.



However, the doctor has to get a second medical opinion on the “incurable” character of the suffering, and will make sure the will of the patient to put an end to life is clear. In cases of psychological illness, a psychiatrist also has to be consulted.



 



EUTHANASIA FOR CHILDREN



When the law was first approved, euthanasia was only available for people 18 or older. But in 2014, Belgium voted to extend euthanasia to children as well.



The new law allowed minors to seek euthanasia under certain conditions, if they “possess the capacity of discernment”, and parental consent is always required. Belgium is the first country in the world with no age restrictions on the practice.



 



2,000 CASES



The biennial report of the Belgian Commission on Euthanasia Control (CFCEE) published in 2016, showed that one in fifty dies through euthanasia. Health Ministry data reveals that euthanasia deaths are increasing by 27% annually.



According to records of the CFCEE, the number of patients using it to end their lives rose nearly eight-fold since Belgium legalised doctor-assisted death.



In 2015 there were more than 2,000 euthanasia cases, an average of six per day - a record for the country. Additionally, during the 2014-2015 period, 124 of the cases were related to a “mental and behavioural” disorder.



Although the percentage of euthanasia for psychological illness is low (around 3%), several individual cases that appeared in the media have fuelled the debate surrounding euthanasia for mentally ill.



 



EUTHANASIA ON THE RISE



A research of the Canadian Medical Association Journal about euthanasia in Belgium between 2003 and 2013 pointed out that most patients choosing this way to die were younger than 80 (65%) and had cancer (69%).



But the largest increase in euthanasia cases over that period was among people older than 80, without cancer and not expected to die in the near future.



The total number of doctor-assisted deaths over the decade after legalization was 8,752, with a steady increase each year. In 2003, there were 235 euthanasia cases, representing 0.2% of nationwide deaths, and in 2013, there were 1,807 cases, which was 1.7 % of deaths.



 



MORE INFORMATION LEADS TO MORE DEATHS



According to the research, “throughout the decade, palliative or quality of life, care teams came to be consulted more often for euthanasia requests, even beyond what the law required”.



The study findings might suggest “an increase in euthanasia requests as patients became familiar with the law, and an increase in willingness to perform euthanasia as doctors became more experienced and society grew accustomed to the practice”.



 



‘FREE WIL’ CONCERNS



Marcel Zwahlen, a researcher at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland, noted that not all societal groups approve of euthanasia.



“Most of the concerns surround the ‘free will’ of the patient and whether the decision to get help in committing suicide is really free, especially for cases with neuropsychiatric conditions,” Zwahlen told Reuters.



People may also “fear that more vulnerable patients may be coerced into the decision, especially if they cannot afford care”, said Zwahlen.



 



CATHOLIC CHURCH DENOUNCES ABUSES OF EUTHANASIA LAW



Roman Catholic Church representatives are warning that Belgium's controversial euthanasia law is being abused, with patients being killed without the proper legal checks.



Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols of Mechelen-Brussels told Catholic News Service last week that it is not only the Church that is expressing its concerns, but doctors and medical professionals as well.



He pointed out that Federal Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission has failed to refer a single case of suspected abuse of the law for investigation.



"It's shocking that, 15 years since its creation, this commission has not referred a single file to prosecutors or condemned a single doctor," the Belgian church's Cathobel news agency said in a report.



The only time that the CFCEE decided not to endorse the euthanasia of a 85-years-old women suffering depression was in October 2015.



 



“THE CFCEE IS ACTING AS JUDGE AND JURY”



“It is acting as judge and jury, and not fulfilling its role. It isn't broadening application of the law, but violating it”.



The bishop said that he is glad to see that debate in Belgian society over euthanasia practices is increasing.



"Even if there's little chance for now of legal changes, the Church can work on a moral and pastoral level with medical staff and support critical voices", Kockerols continued.



 



LEGAL EUTHANASIA AROUNDTHE WORLD



Worldwide, the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia and Luxembourg have legalised euthanasia. A doctor ends the person’s life, usually by administering barbiturate drugs.



In Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Canada, doctor-assisted suicide, where patients take the final action themselves, is legal.



In the United States, physician-assisted dying is legal in only five states, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California and Montana.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Euthanasia deaths increase in Belgium by 27% every year
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
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.