In 2015, the Belgian Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia referred
a physician to the public prosecutor’s office because it concluded that the physician might
have violated the legal conditions for euthanasia. It was the commission’s first referral since its
establishment in 2002. However, in 2019, the Antwerp Court sitting in chambers decided not to
pursue the physician in criminal court. News reports suggested that it had ruled that the physician
did not perform euthanasia because the patient drank the lethal potion herself, thus classifying the
act as physician-assisted suicide. However, the court did not make the reasons for its decision
public.In this article, we consider the legal and ethical aspects of physician-assisted suicide and
euthanasia. Although we discern clear differences between these end-of-life decisions, we also
note important similarities. Countries that legalise voluntary physician-assisted dying may choose
to legislate one or both end-of-life decisions. Providing a legal basis for both options can prevent
major legal problems, ensuring that those doctors who violate the law are not acquitted.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-8
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftMedical Law International
Vroegere onlinedatum24 okt 2023
StatusPublished - 24 okt 2023

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