Fresh warning sounded to UK as euthanasia deaths increase by 25% in Belgium in just one year
Further to December's ten year review and the report on the twins' euthanasia case which made international headlines in January, Alex Schadenberg (Director of Canada's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) has just published the following review on Belgium's 2012 figures just out.
Recent studies concerning the Belgian euthanasia law found that: 32% of the assisted deaths are done without request and 47% of the assisted deaths go unreported in the Flanders region of Belgium. Another recent study found that even though nurses are prohibited from doing euthanasia, that in fact nurses are euthanizing their patients in Belgium. There has never been an attempted prosecution for abuses of the Belgian euthanasia law.
Recent government statistics indicate that the number of reported assisted deaths increased from 1133 in 2011 to 1432 in 2012, representing 2% of all deaths in Belgium. The number of reported assisted deaths in Belgium in 2010 was 954. It is important to note that these statistics do not include the unreported assisted deaths.
The study that found that 32% of the assisted deaths are done without request, indicated that the people who died by euthanasia without request were usually: incompetent, did not have cancer, were over the age of 80, and living in a hospital. The same study indicated that these deaths represented "a vulnerable patient group."
Further to that doctors who admit to not reporting assisted deaths usually do not follow the guidelines of the Belgian law. A recent study found that 73.1 % of the reported assisted deaths followed the guidelines while only 12.3% of the unreported assisted deaths followed the euthanasia guidelines in the Belgian law.
The response by Belgian legislators to the abuses of the euthanasia law is to widen the definitions of the law to include children with disabilities and people with dementia. By widening the definitions in the law, fewer doctors will be abusing the law. It is also feared that the proposed changes to the euthanasia law may affect the freedom of conscience for health care workers in Belgium.
The proposed changes to the Belgium euthanasia law, combined with the lack of attempted prosecutions for abusing the Belgium euthanasia law, in conjunction with the massive increases in the number of euthanasia deaths, indicates that a slippery slope, also known as incremental extensions, has occurred in Belgium.
If you think that is bad enough, consider the fact that a woman with anorexia nervosa recently died by euthanasia, a man wrote that his depressed mother died by euthanasia, Belgian twins who were born deaf were euthanized out of fear of blindness, and Belgium is experimenting with euthanasia/organ donation.
A recent 10 year report of the Belgian euthanasia law that was done by the European Institute of Bioethics found:
To learn more about the current practice and abuses of the Belgian and Netherlands euthanasia laws, by ordering the book, by Alex Schadenberg ($20 includes shipping): Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Exposing Vulnerable People will prepare you to oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) hopes that Belgian legislators will open their eyes to the reality of their euthanasia experiment and reverse their direction. If not, we hope that the rest of the world will recognize how dangerous legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide is and how it threatens the lives of their citizens.