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Belgian Euthanasia Review Committee (FCEE) reports on 2014-2015

In these 2 years, the FCEE reported 3950 performances of euthanasia (1928 in 2014 and 2022 in 2015; an average of 165 per month), 1.8% of all deaths. In over 99% it concerned euthanasia (by injection). It strikes that since 2014 the rate per year starts to level off: was that over 14% in previous years, in 2014 and 2015 that percentage was 6.7% and 4.77%.
75% of the reports received no intensive further consideration, because they obviously fulfilled all legal conditions. In the remaining 25% the FCEE decided to ask further information from the reporting physician.There was sufficient doubt in one declaration top report this to the Court.

The distribution of notifications (FCEE: a “disproportionate”) was 20% French-speaking and 80% Flemish. The FCEE can identify only hypothetical reasons. Between the two language groups there was no difference in the reasons why a request was made for euthanasia.

The conditions at the base of the euthanasia are like in the Netherlands: metastatic or severely crippling cancers (67.7%), poly pathology (9.7%), diseases of the nervous system (6.9%), diseases of the cardiovascular system (5.2%), mental disorders and behavioural disorders (3.1%) and diseases of the respiratory system (3.1%).

In the past period is much and often a polemic on euthanasia in situations of psychiatry, that would show unprecedented growth. The FCEE reply that, through investigation of the reported cases, the fear that euthanasia in psychiatric patients is too quickly and too frivolous awarded as some claim, is unfounded. Research that relies on the last 4 years shows that the number of patients that because of untreatable chronic recurrent depressions euthanasia got a decreasing trend. On the other hand, there is a slightly increasing trend concerning the number of euthanasia in demented patients.

The full report (in Flemish only!) can be read here.

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