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The Brussels Declaration on Assisted Dying

The following Declaration was made at the 14th International Conference of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies held in Brussels, Belgium from 5- 8 September 2002.

We are healthcare professionals attending the 14th World Conference of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies being held in Brussels from 5-8 September 2002.

We note that the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, and that it stresses the importance of personal autonomy. The European Convention on Human Rights reinforces the same principles.

Keeping in mind these Human Rights Declarations, we believe that all competent adults, who are suffering unbearably with incurable illness, should have the choice to obtain medical help to die if this is their rational, persistent and voluntary request after all other options, including those offered by palliative medicine, have been fully considered.

We note that such medical assistance, with strict safeguards, is already possible in Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Oregon (USA). We strongly believe that this fundamental choice should be extended, as soon as possible, to other areas of the world, especially where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is much respected.