How Should Australia Respond to Media-Publicised Developments on Euthanasia in Belgium?
Journal of Law and Medicine, 23, pp. 835-848
Posted: 15 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2016
This article considers the implications that recent euthanasia developments in Belgium might have for the Australian debate on assisted dying. Through media database and internet searches, four significant developments in Belgium were identified: three cases involving individuals who requested access to euthanasia, and recent changes to the Belgian Act on Euthanasia 2002, allowing children access to euthanasia. The article outlines these developments and then examines how they have been discussed in Australia by the different sides of the euthanasia debate. It concludes that these developments are important considerations that legislators and policy-makers in Australia should engage with, but argues that that engagement must be rational and also informed by the significant evidence base that is now available on how the Belgian (and other) assisted dying regimes operate in practice.
Keywords: End of life decision making, Euthanasia, Assisted suicide, Assisted dying, Belgium, Law reform
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