Euthanasia Rates Double in Belgium

By Gudrun Schultz

FLANDERS, Belgium, February 7, 2006 ( – Four hundred people were reported killed by euthanasia in Belgium in 2005, double the rate of four years ago.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, following the Netherlands to become the second European country to do so. In the first year two hundred people were killed. Since then rates have steadily risen. Last year deaths reportedly reached 360.

Figures published today indicate one third of “assisted suicides” involve a surgical procedure, reported the Evening Echo News.

In some cases, medical treatment is stopped, or not started at all, said Wim Distelmans, chairman of Belgium’s euthanasia evaluation committee.

80% of all reported cases of euthanasia take place in the northern Flanders region, where there is a network of doctors involved in the practice.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Euthanasia of Infants by Doctors Responsible for Nearly Half of Newborn Deaths in Belgium

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