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BRUSSELS (LifeSiteNews) — A Belgian Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by eight claimants to repeal a 2020 law that facilitates access to assisted suicide, which has been legal in Belgium since 2002.

The claimants, among them three doctors, presented their appeal yesterday, claiming that the new law is unconstitutional.

The appeal was divided in three parts, each of them tackling one of the 2020 amendments to the Belgian legislation on euthanasia.

The court examined two of these parts, deeming that the two amendments mentioned there were not unconstitutional, contrary to what the claimants argued.

The third part of appeal concerned the legal obligation for healthcare institutions to provide euthanasia, but the court refused to even examine the claim against this obligation, deeming it inadmissible on the ground that none of the eight claimants could speak on behalf of a healthcare institution, but only as private individuals.

In the first part of their appeal, the claimants contested the obligation for doctors who, for reasons of conscience refuse to practice euthanasia, to refer or redirect their patients to “a center or association specializing in euthanasia.” The claimants considered that this obligation constitutes an attack on the doctors’ freedom of conscience, as it forces them to take part in assisted suicide against their will.

After examining this part of the appeal, the court rejected it, deeming that in such a situation, both the doctor’s right to choose not to kill a patient as well as the patient’s “right” to be killed are respected.

Finally, the court rejected a claim by the contestant against the unlimited duration of validity for euthanasia requests. Previously, a request had to be renewed every five years, but the 2020 law suppressed that requirement. In this instance, the court deemed that an unlimited duration of validity did not prevent people who make such a request to “regularly re-evaluate their position on the matter.”