Belgium Euthanasia 2018 data

In Belgium deaths by legal euthanasia have increased more than tenfold (1003%) from 235 in 2003 – the first full year of legalisation – to 2,357 in 2018.

Detailed reports on euthanasia in Belgium are required to be tabled in Parliament only every two years, with the most recent report covering 2016 and 2017. However, some basic data for 2018 has been published in a press release from the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia.

Not terminal

Of deaths by euthanasia in 2018 some 345 cases (14.6%) involved people whose deaths were not expected in the near future.


In 2018 there were 438 cases of euthanasia for polypathology representing nearly one in five (18.58%) of all cases of reported euthanasia.

The Commission describes “polypathology” as including situations where mobility difficulties, increasing deafness or loss of vision have led to loneliness, social isolation or a decreased ability to engage in various activities as sufficient justification for euthanasia. Urinary or fecal incontinence, described as a loss of dignity, is also mentioned in this context.

No physical suffering at all

In 2018 there were 83 (3.5%) cases where the person euthanased had not been experiencing any physical suffering.

The grounds for euthanasia were based solely on mental or psychic suffering.

Putting aside those euthanased for "mental and behavioural disorders", this mental or psychic suffering, included “addiction, loss of autonomy, loneliness, despair, loss of dignity, despair at the thought of losing ability to maintain social contacts, etc.”.

Mental and behavioural disorders

57 people with “mental and behavioural disorders” were killed by euthanasia in 2018, an increase of 42.5% from 2017.


In 2018 there were 4 cases of euthanasia for eye diseases (none of them terminal), 3 for ear diseases (none terminal) and 1 case (nonterminal) for a congenital malformation or chromosomal abnormality. Each of these may be a case of euthanasia for disability, such as loss of vision or hearing.


The 16 year experiment with euthanasia in Belgium is fatally flawed. It has resulted in the abandonment of the disabled, the mentally ill and the suicidal. 

For more on Belgium's fattally flawed experiment with euthanasia read here.




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