Belgian doctors “killing patients who have not asked to die”
According to the British Daily Mail about one in every 60 deaths in Belgium is the result of action by general practitioners on patients who did not request to die. The new report by Rafael Cohen-Almagor in the Journal of Medical Ethics says that two thirds of the patients, although in the hospital, were not suffering from a terminal disease.
The most disquieting fact in the report is that very often doctors did not discuss the matter with the patient or the families. They considered it “a medical decision to be made by themselves alone.”
In Belgium, euthanasia can be administered only to a patient who is competent and who has requested it. Therefore, those deaths are completely illegal, but they seem to be tolerated by the medical profession and the general public.
Cohen-Almagor concluded his report by asking: “If Belgium has been unable to control abuse—and does not seem to have tried very hard—what reason is there to believe it will be controlled in the future?”