Quebec and Belgium: New reports confirm euthanasia for sex abuse victims and for loneliness

New reports on euthanasia in Quebec and Belgium show that the rates of euthanasia continue to escalate and that the victims of euthanasia include survivors of child sexual abuse and people experiencing profound loneliness and social isolation.

Two new annual reports on euthanasia have recently been published.

For Quebec the Seventh annual report covering 1 April 2021-31 March 2022 was tabled on 9 December 2022.

Matters of interest include:

There were 3,663 people euthanased in that 12 month period, representing 5.1% of all deaths in Quebec.

This was an increase of 51% from the previous 12 month period and more than double the 1,774 people killed by euthanasia in Quebec between April 2019 and March 2020. The average annual increase between 2016-17 and 2021-22 is 44% in raw numbers of deaths or 42% in euthanasia deaths as a percentage of all deaths.

183 (5%) had a prognosis of “not terminal” or of more than one year, more than 18 months or more than 2 years to live without further precision.

50% of people were euthanased less than 10 days after making a request. However, only 13% of people had a prognosis of less than 2 weeks to live. 

There was a discrepancy of 289 cases (7.3%) of euthanasia between the number of official reports received (3,663) and the number of cases reported by institutions (3,629) and the College of Physicians (323) in Quebec for April 2021 to March 2022, suggesting a failure by physicians to report all cases to the Commission as required by law. The report suggests that a partial explanation may be double reporting through an institution and to the College of physicians and says it will investigate. However, the report does not refer to any results of investigation from a similar discrepancy in previous years reports.

15 cases failed to comply with the law, including: six cases where the person did not have a grave and incurable condition; three cases where the person was unable to give consent at the time euthanasia was administered; five cases where the signatures on forms were provided by legally disqualified persons; and one case where there was no confirmation of eligibility from a second practitioner.

Of course there is no remedy for these 15 people - all illegally killed.

1700 (47%) of people euthanased gave a reason as “Perceived burden on family, friends or caregivers” and 824 (23%) of people reported “isolation or loneliness” as a reason.

Why are we killing people for loneliness? Couldn't we just sit with them and have a cup of tea and a chat?

170 (5%) of people euthanased did not report any physical suffering at all but only psychological suffering.

For Belgium the biannual report for 2020 and 2021 was published on 8 December 2022. 

Matters of interest include:

In Belgium deaths by legal euthanasia increased more than elevenfold (1148%) from 235 in 2003 – the first full year of legalisation – to 2,700 in 2021. From 2020 to 2021 alone the increase was 10.4%. Officially reported euthanasia accounted for 2.4% of all deaths in Belgium in 2021

Between 2018 and 2021 there were 97 cases of euthanasia for cognitive disorders (including Alzheimer’s and other dementias) as well as 102 cases of euthanasia for psychiatric conditions and  including  depression/bipolar disorder (36), personality disorders (35), anxiety/stress disorders (10), schizophrenia (10), autism (6), and anorexia (2). Extraordinarily, one person was euthanased in 2018 for “Commonly occurring behavioral and emotional disturbances during childhood and adolescence (such as attachment disorder)” and one person in 2020 for “Mental and behavioral disorders related to the use of psychoactive substances”.

The Commission reports that “In young patients, the unbearable and persistent nature of the suffering was frequently associated with experiences from the past. In this regard, it was a question of sexual abuse, neglect as a child, rejection by parents, self-destructive behavior and suicide attempts. In addition, failed suicide attempts have made those affected aware that there is also another, more dignified way to end their life.”

Belgium is responding to survivors of child sexual abuse by killing the survivor!

In 2021 there were 430 cases of reported euthanasia of people whose deaths were not expected in the foreseeable future. This represents 15.9% of all cases of reported euthanasia, up from 12.7% in 2020. Of these 191 (7.1% of all cases) were for polypathology where death was not expected in the in the foreseeable future; 24 were for cognitive disorders; 24 for psychiatric disorders and the remaining cases were for a range of physical non-terminal conditions, including arthritis (11), eye and ear disorders (2), chromosomal and congenital abnormalities (4) and injuries from external causes (14).

Euthanasia Tourism to Belgium

The place of residence is only required to be reported in the first part of a euthanasia report filed by the doctor performing euthanasia. This part only gets open when questions arise. However, in 2020 and 2021 doctors did refer in the second part of the report to people who were foreigners who came to Belgium to seek euthanasia. There were 79 such cases reported in this way (up from 45 reported in 2016 and 2017) but there may be many more. Of the 79 reported cases “More than half of the deaths were expected in the near future” meaning several were cases where death was not expected in the short term.

Updated summaries on Belgium and Canada, and an updated version of Fatally Flawed Experiments on all 24 jurisdictions that have legalised euthanasia or assistance to suicide are available for reading or downloading at: 

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  • Richard Egan
    published this page in News 2022-12-14 16:09:48 +1100
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