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ADMD Belgium Clarifies the legal position

In ADMD Belgium’s March Bulletin, their President Jacqueline Herremans, noting the continuing confusion over the scope of the law, sets out precisely what the current Belgian law means.

It defines euthanasia but does not impose a method of application on the doctor. Thus, in its first report, the Commission of Control confirmed that those few cases, where unconsciousness was achieved by administration of a barbiturate and death followed rapidly with no further action by the doctor, fell within the legal definition of euthanasia, always provided all the other conditions had been observed.

On the other hand, all other assistance to suicide is outside the law. For example if a doctor were to provide a lethal prescription but not be present when it was taken would not have followed the regulations and would not be covered.

Belgian law also differs from the Swiss, which permits assisted suicide accompanied by someone other than a doctor but requires the patient to take the final dose.

Literature on euthanasia at the ERGO store.

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