Intended for healthcare professionals


Assisted dying: Belgian doctors are acquitted of unlawful poisoning

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 03 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m425
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

Three Belgian doctors have been acquitted of unlawfully poisoning a 38 year old woman almost 10 years ago, in a landmark trial centred on Belgium’s assisted dying law.

During the high profile case the court heard that Tine Nys, who had severe psychiatric problems and had survived earlier suicide attempts, had repeatedly asked to be helped to die under the country’s 2002 legislation.

The law requires the independent opinion of three medical professionals. The two GPs and psychiatrist on trial agreed that Nys met the criterion of unbearable physical and psychological suffering from an incurable illness. The procedure was carried out on 27 April …

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