February 25, 2024


Belgian doctors reported nearly 400 cases of euthanasia in 2005, up from about 200 after it was legalised in 2002. However, Wim Distelmans, of Brussels Free University, claims that the true number of cases is about five times higher than the official figures. About 80% of Belgian euthanasia is done by Flemish doctors, because they have the support of a good network, the Life Ending Information Forum, which is based in neighbouring Holland.

And a Belgian doctor has defied the existing law by publishing an article in the medical magazine Huisarts (Family Doctor), stating that he had killed an 87-year-old demented patient. Dr Marc Cosyns, a general practitioner and lecturer in end-of-life care at the University of Ghent, said that he wants to spark a debate about providing euthanasia for demented patients and children.

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Wim Distelmans