The world’s first ‘death on demand’ law is set to go before legislators in Belgium who have already ushered through an ultra-liberal euthanasia regime. The new rules would mean no doctor would be allowed to block the wishes of a patient who asked to die. The law – put forward by the country’s opposition socialist party – is thought to have a high chance of commanding support from a majority of parliamentarians. They come at a time when numbers dying each year under the euthanasia laws have doubled in five years to reach more than 2,000. Doctors approached by someone wanting help to die would under the proposed new law have to approve within seven days, or pass the patient on to another doctor prepared to give approval. The principle is similar to that operated by British doctors under abortion guidelines supervised by the General Medical Council. They mean that British doctors cannot prevent a patient from getting an abortion, and under them the number of abortions performed each year in the UK has risen close to 200,000, close to one in four of all conceptions. The Belgian euthanasia proposals would also compel doctors to treat requests for assisted suicide as urgent cases – so that no doctor could persuade a patient to wait to see if they change their mind about dying.
Belgian lawmakers to vote on world's first death on demand euthanasia law
Note that Belgium is the first country to legalize assisted death for children, with the approval of a psychiatrist and the parents.