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Belgian Review Committee reports euthanasia figures for 2012 and 2013

LaLibre.be writes:
In 2012 and 2013 3239 cases of euthanasia were reported to the Federal Evaluation and Control Commission. Since the implementation of the Act of 28 May 2002, the increase in the number of reported cases was gradual. But it “tends to escalate significantly since 2011”, reports the Commission (in 2010+ 2011 2086 cases were reported). This growth is considered plausible by the gradual dissemination of information relating to decisions at the end of life to the public and the medical world according to the Commission.

73% of the reported cases concerned cancer, while neuropsychiatric conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, disease Huntington, vascular dementia, psychosis irreducible, etc.) are responsible for 4% of the euthanasia cases. In 5% of cases (166 cases), the severity of the condition and the suffering resulted from the coexistence of several incurable diseases. The vast majority of the euthanasia occurs for patients of average age (between 40 and 79 years, which corresponds to the frequency of cancer deaths in this age group). Before the age of 40 that 46 cases were recorded and… 0 cases with persons under 20 years of age.

Another observation (the percentage remains stable): euthanasia performed in the presence of disorders not resulting in death on the short term is relatively rare (13%): they concern essentially neuromuscular diseases with tetraplegia’s or severe multiple paralysis as well as neuropsychiatric diseases and multiple sclerosis.

80% of statements were written in Dutch and 20% in French.

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