Professor Distelmans, who is attached to the Flemish Free University of Brussels (VUB), was speaking in the weekly Humo.
He told VRT News: "Patients are heavily sedated to alleviate unbearable suffering. This happens in all hospitals and in many residential care centres. The family are not always informed. This can lead to a lot of frustration later on and a difficult mourning process. When a patient applies for euthanasia, his doctor has to send a registration document to the Federal Euthanasia Commission. I am calling for this also to happen when patients are heavily sedated near the end of their life."
Complete sedation of terminally ill patients occurs twice as often in French-speaking Belgium than in Flanders.