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In assisted dying, remember this: We all are fragile

Jean VANIER  Categorie Citizens'opinion


With this right – the right to die – we must take care not to obscure or forget the innate dignity of those who are vulnerable or reinforce an ideal that only an independent life has purpose and value. We are all fragile, and the vulnerability that comes with the passage from birth to death is one which we must each find a way to accept...

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Crushing resistance - one clause at a time

Paul RUSSEL  Categorie Citizens'opinion

For those tempted to the thought that a euthanasia or assisted suicide law, once passed, is cast in stone, never to be changed, recent events in Belgium should make you think again.

Not only has the statute been subject to continual re-interpretation to the point where euthanasia for psychological reasons is now taking place, the parliament has also debated and passed an amendment to the 2002 law only two years ago that removed the lower age limit to now include children. In light of further and more recent events, it seems that change may be just around the corner once again...

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Something is terribly wrong in the state of Belgium

While certain Belgian politicians praise this law on euthanasia as one of the most " modern and progressive" in the world, the fact that a mere DSM label can be used as a licence to dispose of psychiatric patients by euthanasia , proves to me that something is terribly wrong in the state of Belgium.

It proves that the architecs of this infamous law were no professionals neither in the field of psychiatry nor in the domain of law making...

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The fast traject to death: euthanasia for mental suffering in Belgium

Willem Lemmens  Categorie Opinions of Philosopher
Professor of Modern Philosophy and Ethics at the U

In November 2015 several psychiatrists, ethicists, lawyers and health professionals in Belgium gave voice to their profound concern: there is something fundamentally wrong with euthanasia in Belgium on the basis of purely psychological suffering. Two Belgian women, Sophie and Lotte Nys, just recently revealed the story of the death of Tine, their sister. On April 27 2010, Tine received euthanasia on the basis of " unbearable psychological suffering " because of "an incurable disease". Six years after the facts her family is still haunted by the experience and left behind with questions. Sophie and Lotte testified about this in a news programme of the Belgian - Flemish national television, Terzake (February 2) .

Tine Nys formulated her euthanasia request 4 months before her death. The fatal disease from which she suffered, autism, was diagnosed two months after the request. Fifteen years earlier Tine had been in psychiatric treatment for some time, and even attempted suicide. She clearly had gone through a very difficult period in her life. Yet, later on, she succeeded to build a regular life. She had a nice job, friends and family, all kinds of plans. 8 months before she died, however, she fell in a deep crisis after a relational break up and was haunted again by the wish to die: she went looking for a psychiatrist to help to end her life...

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Belgian Commission refers first ever case to the law

Euthanasiestop  Categorie Slipery Slope

De Standaard newspaper is reporting today that, for the very first time since its inception in October 2002, the Belgian Euthanasia Commission has referred a reported euthanasia case to the judiciary for review.

The case in question is well known as it was recorded by the Australian SBS TV Network reporter, Brett Mason, in a Dateline documentary aired in Australia in September. As Mason reported...

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Euthanasia in Belgium seen from abroad...

Euthanasiestop  Categorie Citizens'opinion

Though Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, eighteen years after the Netherlands (in 1984), it has now overtaken the Netherlands in numbers of deaths. There were 1,803 reported cases in 2013 (more than double the 822 reported cases in 2009). According to research conducted by Chambaere (see below) these official figures underreport euthanasia by around 50%. What is more worrying is that research indicates that more than 1,000 patients a year (1.7% of all deaths) have their lives ended deliberately without having requested it. This figure has not declined with time.

The Belgium law came to prominence recently with the decision in February 2014 to extend euthanasia to children. This has caused concern among clinicians and bioethicists in other countries...

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Foreigners do not understand us

Michael Cook  Categorie Citizens'opinion

by Raphael Cohen-Almagor (published in

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, of the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, is a world expert on euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium. He recently contributed an article to the JOurnal of Medical Ethics on one of the most worrying aspects of the euthanasia in Belgium—the deliberate shortening of lives of some patients without their explicit voluntary request. In this interview with BioEdge, he explains some of his concerns...

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