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Intention - euthanasia (click to zoom)

Living will - euthanasia

This page has been automatically translated from French into English by a translation software. Automatic translations are not as accurate as translations made by professional human translators. Nevertheless these pages can help you understand information published by the City of Brussels.

In Belgium, the law of 28 May 2002 relative to euthanasia contains the regulations for the act of euthanasia. Euthanasia is recognized as a right of every patient to decide between life and death, if the patient complies with the regulations of the law. It is regulated by a 'living will'.

Living will

A living will (advance directives or advance decisions) is a document in which persons record their will for the medical care they want or do not want to receive if they lose the capacity to express themselves or if they are in a state where they are not capable of taking this decision anymore.

Population service

The Population service of the City of Brussels offers the possibility of registering this will concerning euthanasia. The form will be given on simple demand or can be downloaded here in French and Dutch:

Once the statement is completed, it is important that the person concerned is capable of expressing his or her will in an explicit way.

Validity of the living will

This declaration is only valid when:

  • it was drafted according to the model form prescribed by law
  • it was made or confirmed less than 5 years before the beginning of the impossibility for the patient of showing his or her will
  • it was made in the presence of 2 major witnesses, of which at least 1 does not benefit from the death

This declaration can also appoint 1 or several persons who, when the time comes, will inform the doctor of the choices that were taken. These persons have to sign the form. It is however imperative that at least 1 of these persons is not a part of the family.

Modification of the living will

The patient can delete or adapt his advance directives at any time. Euthanasia will only be executed if the person concerned is affected by a grave and incurable accidental or pathological affection, and if he or she is unconscious and if his or her state is considered irreversible.

This registration is done by appointment only, at the Administrative Centre or at the liaison offices of Laeken or Neder-Over-Heembeek. The registration is not required in any case.

Attention: the declaration of the living will must be renewed every 5 years!

Information on euthanasia

2 associations give further information about the law on euthanasia:

  • LEIF (LevensEinde InformatieForum) - Dutch-language
    J. Vander Vekenstraat 158
    1780 Wemmel
    Tel. 078 15 11 55
  • Recht op Waardig Sterven (RWS) - Dutch-language
    Lange Gasthuisstraat 45
    2000 Antwerp
    Tel. 03 272 51 63

Practical information

Population service
Administrative centre
Boulevard Anspach 6
2nd floor
1000 Brussels

Tel. : 02 279 35 60

Opening hours : Monday from 8:30 am to 3 pm, Tuesday from 8:30 am till noon, Wednesday from 8:30 am to 3 pm, Thursday from 8:30 am to 6 pm, Friday from 8:30 am till noon (distribution of tickets takes place from 8:15 am)
Telephone hours : from Monday till Friday from 8:30 am till 4 pm

Liaison office in Laeken
Boulevard Emile Bockstael 246
1020 Brussels (Laeken)

Tel. : 02 279 37 00
Fax : 02 279 37 08
Opening hours : from Monday to Wednesday from 8:30 am till 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm till 3 pm, Thursday from 8:30 am till 11:30 am, Friday from 8:30 am till 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm till 3 pm (distribution of tickets from 8:15 am)

Liaison office in Neder-Over-Heembeek
Rue du Craetveld, 9
1120 Brussels (Neder-Over-Heembeek)

Tel. : 02 279 28 70
Fax : 02 279 28 79
Opening hours : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 am to noon and from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Thursday from 8:30 am till noon and from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Telephone hours : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 am to noon and from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Thursday from 8:30 am till noon and from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm


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