Euthanasia in Belgium: Legal, Historical and Political Review

Toni C Saad

Issues in Law & Medicine
Issues in Law & Medicine

This article describes and evaluates the Belgian euthanasia experience by considering its practice and policy, both before and after the formal decriminalisation of euthanasia in 2002. The pre-legal practice of euthanasia, the evolution of euthanasia legislation, criticism of this legislation, the influence of politics, and later changes to the 2002 Act on Euthanasia are discussed, as well as the subject of euthanasia of minors and the matter of organ procurement. It is argued that the Belgian euthanasia experience is characterised by political expedition, and that the 2002 Act and its later amendments suffer from practical and conceptual flaws. Illegal euthanasia practices remain a live concern in Belgium, something which nations who are seeking to decriminalise euthanasia should consider.

Saad TC. Euthanasia in Belgium: Legal, Historical and Political Review. Issues Law Med. 2017;32(2):183-204.

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