Maxime Anciaux - All rights reserved

“Offer Euthanasia to people with dementia too”

The Flemish liberals hope to make changes to Belgium’s euthanasia legislation to allow people with dementia to benefit from the legislation too and allow euthanasia.

Belgian euthanasia legislation allows euthanasia when people are incurably ill and in sound mind.  Euthanasia is also possible when patients enter a coma that cannot be reversed if they have made this clear in an official document beforehand, but that is all.

People who develop euthanasia or people who lose the ability to take a sound decision themselves, e.g. as a result of an accident, cannot qualify for euthanasia even if they have made certain wishes clear beforehand.  The Flemish liberals of Open VLD now want to change this.

Lawmaker Robby De Caluwé: “We wish to offer people the possibility of deciding over a dignified end-of-life that they have chosen themselves also when they are suffering from dementia.  In this way we can avoid many humiliating situations.”

Because making your wishes clear beforehand can’t help people with dementia to get euthanasia some people are opting for euthanasia too early.  Robby De Caluwé: “People wish to take the decision while they are still of sound mind, because they are afraid it will be too late otherwise. As a result people with dementia are dying too early.”

Earlier the Flemish socialist party tabled similar legislation.