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Belgian Catholics concerned about abuse of country’s euthanasia law

Catholics in Belgium are concerned the country’s euthanasia law is being abused to kill patients without legal checks and safeguards.

Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols of Mechelen-Brussels said “not just the Church’s hierarchy, but doctors and medical professionals as well” were concerned.

On 9th January, the Belgian Church’s Cathobel news agency published an article saying the Federal Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission violated its statutes by failing to refer suspected legal abuses for investigation.

β€˜It’s shocking that, 15 years since its creation, this commission has not referred a single file to prosecutors or condemned a single doctor,’ the Catholic report said.

β€˜It is acting as judge and jury, and not fulfilling its role. It isn’t broadening application of the law, but violating it.’

Bishop Kockerols told Catholic News Service that the Church had long been aware the commission was “not working as it should.” He said the bishops would support any investigation into its activities or “any steps to ensure it functions as it’s supposed to.”

Picture: Protesters hold a banner and placards as they demonstrate against a euthanasia law in 2014 in Brussels. Catholics in Belgium are concerned the country’s euthanasia law is being abused to kill patients without legal checks and safeguards. (CNS photo/Laurent Dubrule, Reuters).