Study of Euthanasia Trends in Belgium Has Lessons for Other Countries

September 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress) – A new study on euthanasia trends in Belgium, which shows an increase in reported cases since legislation was introduced, provides lessons for countries that have legalized assisted dying. The research is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).  In 2002, Belgium legalized the intentional ending of life by a physician at the patient’s explicit request. The government introduced safeguards to protect patients, including a multidisciplinary review panel—the Belgian Federal Control and Evaluation Committee for Euthanasia—to ensure that each procedure was performed according to legal guidelines.