Eutanásia na Bélgica: aumentando cada vez mais e menos noticiado

quarta-feira, maio 19, 2010

More cases of euthanasia in Belgium

Sat 27/03/2010 - 13:25

Last year, 700 official cases of euthanasia were reported. The figure is 40 percent up on the year before, as 2008 only had 500 cases. Experts point out these are only official statistics, and estimate that these only represent 25 percent of the actual numbers.

Doctors are hesitating to report euthanasia as they fear judicial problems. In Belgium, it is legal to carry out euthanasia, but only under very strict conditions.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: FlandersNews


Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey

Kenneth Chambaere PhD, Johan Bilsen RN PhD, Joachim Cohen PhD, Bregje D. Onwuteaka-Philipsen PhD, Freddy Mortier PhD, Luc Deliens PhD



Legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide has been heavily debated in many countries. To help inform this debate, we describe the practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the use of life ending drugs without an explicit request from the patient, in Flanders, Belgium, where euthanasia is legal.


We mailed a questionnaire regarding the use of life-ending drugs with or without explicit patient request to physicians who certified a representative sample (n = 6927) of death certificates of patients who died in Flanders between June and November 2007.


The response rate was 58.4%. Overall, 208 deaths involving the use of life-ending drugs were reported: 142
(weighted prevalence 2.0%) were with an explicit patient request (euthanasia or assisted suicide) and 66 (weighted prevalence 1.8%) were without an explicit request. Euthanasia and assisted suicide mostly involved patients less than 80 years of age, those with cancer and those dying at home. Use of life-ending drugs without an explicit request mostly involved patients 80 years of older, those with a disease other than cancer and those in hospital. Of the deaths without an explicit request, the decision was not discussed with the patient in 77.9% of cases. Compared with assisted deaths with the patient’s explicit request, those without an explicit request were more likely to have a shorter length of treatment of the terminal illness, to have cure as a goal of treatment in the last week, to have a shorter estimated time by which life was shortened and to involve the administration of opioids.


Physician-assisted deaths with an explicit patient request (euthanasia and assisted suicide) and without an explicit request occurred in different patient groups and under different circumstances. Cases without an explicit request often involved patients whose diseases had unpredictable end-of-life trajectories. Although opioids were used in most of these cases, misconceptions seem to persist about their actual life-shortening effects.