The Most Liberal Legislation Concerning Euthanasia in the World: The Belgian Act on Euthanasia
The Belgian Act on Euthanasia, promulgated in 2002 and then amended in 2005 and then in 2014, stands for the most liberal legislation concerning euthanasia in the world. First, legislated euthanasia can be exercised in two ways. One is the physician’s administration by, for instance, directly giving a lethal injection and the other, also called physician-assisted suicide, is the patient’s self-administration with the aid of the physician. Second, there is no upper limit age bar for requesting euthanasia, which means a “minor with the capacity of discernment” is also eligible. Third, an adult patient or an emancipated minor can request euthanasia based on the constant and unbearable physical and as well as mental suffering even if not expected to die in the near future. Finally, the most liberal euthanasia legislation means also a heavy burden for the physician, who has to face with frequent request for euthanasia from patients and consequently spare much time to discuss whether or not the request is reasonable and acceptable.