Euthanasia: psychiatry and dementia – European Institute of Bioethics

Who can still deny the social derivatives from the introduction of the pactice of euthanasia in Belgium.

Euthanasia in psychiatry is a valid alternative to suicide in Belgium.

"If someone really wants to die, we should dare to help them.

That is in any case, what came out of the interview (below in Dutch) published in Knack magazine.

Psychiatrist Lieve Thienpont, LEIF group doctor (LevensEindInformatieForum) and jurist Tony Van Loon both are part of Ulteam (Uitklaring Levenseindevragen Team) in Wemmel, a multidisciplinary team that welcomes people who want to be euthanised and for whom family doctors estimate are beyond the framework of the law decriminalising euthanasia.

Below is a free translation of certain passages in the article.

"While the psychiatric centers are full of patients, the request for euthanasia in psychiatry reaches 2% of all declared cases of euthanasia. According to Dr Thienpont and Mr Van Loon who analysed 100 euthanasia requests coming from psychiatric suffering people, since October 2007, nearly 2/3 of the people having requested to be euthanised have recinded on their original request and have decided to continue living.

The article specifies that just the fact that they were able to make the request for euthanasia and were heard was beneficial ; it also woke up their entourage, more than in the case of a suicide. Planning the solution of euthanasia for psychic suffering is (NDLR according to Lieve Thienpont) an alternative to suicide and deserves to be awarded more attention. (…) If the person really wants to die, we should dare to help them.

It is better to be euthanised than to throw oneself under a train or to hang oneself in the greatest of solitude, and that afterwards our entourage finds their loved one and is traumatized. What is nice about euthanasia is that we can humanely say goodbye, surrounded by loved ones and friends who often have been witnesses of the suffering that has been endured.»

Source : Knack, 06/03/2013

Lien:Euthanasie : psychiatrie et démence - Institut Européen de Bioéthique