Brussels... the final destination for medical tourists?

 

Brussels wants to become the final destination for medical tourism. The Belgian city is attracting French citizens for euthanasia.

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002 but assessment of a patient’s maturity is required to make this decision. Before a lethal injection can be given, the doctor and patient must agree that the level of suffering is constant and unbearable and cannot be alleviated. The request must be voluntary, assessed over a reasonable period of time, usually a matter of weeks and carried out with the agreement of a second doctor. Belgium now includes suffering “unbearable mental pain” as a legal reason for euthanasia.

Although hard to believe, this sudden new market is a by product never imagined when regulators drew up the EU Cross Border Health Directive.

The medical procedure is usually free in Belgium and is covered by the French healthcare system, but the same medical procedure costs 4,000 euros in Switzerland.

Euthanasia is an ethical dilemma for both the individual seeking and providing this service. In the United States euthanasia is illegal. In the EU, they have euthanasia, but the death penalty is illegal.

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