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Belgium euthanasia doctor accused of unlawful euthanasia

by | Nov 30, 2021

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The veneer of Belgian euthanasia has been peeled off with the publicity of the trials in the Tine Neys’ euthanasia death and the case launched by Tom Mortier to gain justice in the death of his healthy but depressed mother.

A court decision to determine if the doctor made a mistake in the death of Tine Neys was expected last month but has not yet been initiated.

Recently a doctor was arrested after a complaint stated that the doctor had unlawfully euthanised a 91-year-old man in the Jan Palfijn hospital in Ghent. The hospital first suspended the doctor from his duties and then withdrew the suspension.

Doctors at the Jan Palfijn hospital recently protested that the hospital managers contacted the public prosecutor without first discussing the accusation with the doctor.

According to Amelie Outters reporting for VRT.BE:

On Saturday 20 November, after the death of an elderly patient, a “possibly unlawful euthanasia” was reported to the police, according to the East Flanders prosecutor’s office. An investigating judge was requested to investigate the exact circumstances of the termination of life and the doctor was arrested and brought to trial. He was released under strict conditions after extensive questioning by the investigating judge.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on March 19, 2015, stated that in the Flanders region of Belgium (2013), more than 1,000 assisted deaths were done without explicit request and almost half of the assisted deaths were not reported.

It is difficult to understand how an independent study can produce hard data showing the lack of oversight with the Belgian euthanasia law when the government evaluation committee claims that there are no problems with the euthanasia law.

Investigating possible unlawful euthanasia deaths is causing a disruption among euthanasia doctors. Whether or not the new case is determined to be a wrongful euthanasia death, doctors in Belgium may start to fear prosecution.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia
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