- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/euthanasia-tourism-on-the-rise-in-belgium/11985#sthash.jPn1AAoe.dpuf
A rising number of “euthanasia tourists” are flocking to Belgium to end their lives, according to doctors in the country. Last year 2023 people were medically killed in Belgium, more than double the figure of five years earlier.
Of these, many appear to be foreign nationals seeking assisted dying. Doctors at clinics and hospitals in Belgium’s capital say that French patients often arrive with suitcases, thinking that their request to be helped to die will be carried out within a week.
“It’s a phenomenon that did not exist five or six years ago,” Olivier Vermylen, an emergency doctor at a Brussels hospital, told Belgium’s Sudpresse newspaper. “Nowadays I get phone calls about French people who arrive in the emergency room announcing that they want euthanasia.”
At the Brugmann University hospital, where Dr Vermylen works, seven out of 15 euthanasia cases last year involved French people. At the Jules Bordet institute, also in the Belgian capital, French people account for almost a third of euthanasia consultations - 40 out of 130 cases.
In Britain, Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor from the University of Hull is arguing for legalization of euthanasia as a solution to "death-tourism." He told the Daily Mail that this phenomenon occurs because sick people do not have access to a law that will help them pass away peacefully at their own homes."There is an increasing realization that the time has come for change. It is time to consider legislating physician-assisted suicide in Britain and in other parts of the liberal world," he said.
From an ethical point of view, IVF is made of teflon. Just about nothing sticks. It's understandable, since its product line is the joyful experience of cradling a newborn baby. However, there have always been some dark clouds hanging over IVF. What works always seems to have trumped what's safe. But clinicians are beginning to realise that some IVF techniques could be responsible for serious health problems for IVF children decades later.
As we report below, the editor of the leading journal Human Reproduction warns that changes are needed. “It’s not possible to sell a single drug on the market if you do not give the total composition of the drug, but for such an important thing as culture media, that envelopes the whole embryo, you can sell it without revealing its contents. For me, that’s unacceptable,” he says. “Compared to the rest of medicine, this is such a backward area. We can’t accept it any longer.”
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