Article 5 of the Law of 28 May 2002 on Euthanasia stipulates that the doctor who has carried out euthanasia must complete a registration document. This must be sent to the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) within four working days.
This document is divided into two sections. Section I is confidential and contains the personal data of the patient, the doctors involved, the pharmacist and any other individuals consulted, such as nursing staff, family members or caregivers. This section can only be read following a decision by the Commission. Section II is anonymous and includes all the data on the basis of which the doctor concerned carried out the euthanasia.
Chapter V of the Law on Euthanasia sets out the Commission's composition, working methods and mission.
In accordance with Article 8 of the Law, the Commission processes the registration documents sent to it. Based on section II (the anonymous part), it verifies whether the euthanasia was carried out in accordance with the essential requirements and procedure set out by the Law. In case of doubt, the Commission may, after a simple majority vote, open the confidential part (section I). Based on the data contained in this form, it is possible - if necessary - to request further information from the reporting doctor. The doctor may be heard by the Commission. If two-thirds of Commission members decide that the euthanasia carried out does not comply with the Law, the case is referred to the Public Prosecutor.
The Commission is also legally required to produce a biennial report, which is forwarded to the Chamber of Representatives.
This report must include the following elements:
Consequently, the Commission has no legal power of instruction or competence to assess the professionalism of the doctors. The Commission can therefore approve a euthanasia procedure in its entirety, carried out despite certain procedural shortcomings. It acts as a buffer between the doctors and the courts.
All FCCEE reports can be found in the "publications" section.
Registration documents (around 200 to 250 per month) are evaluated in two stages: in advance and individually and then during the monthly meeting. This working method ensures that they are all examined thoroughly.
1) The advance individual evaluation
At regular intervals during the month preceding the meeting, all Commission members, both members and alternates, receive the sections II of the registration documents sent by the doctors, electronically or by post. This gives them the opportunity to study and evaluate the files before the monthly meeting. In this way, each member can identify documents which they feel do not contain sufficient information, or which may not comply with the Law. In addition, any member may submit comments to the secretariat in advance. Consequently, members (or alternates) who are absent from the meeting can also share their comments. An overview of the comments made on certain files is attached to the meeting invite.
2) Monthly Commission meeting
At this monthly meeting, members discuss registration documents that require particular consideration. Indeed, declarations that pose no problem, with all Commission members agreeing that the Law has been correctly applied, can be approved without further discussion.
Cases that are discussed in depth include registration documents that contain inaccurate or insufficient information, where it is necessary to ensure that the euthanasia complies with the Law, and special situations such as organ donation after euthanasia, the euthanasia of a patient domiciled abroad or cases of euthanasia that have encountered obstacles within a care institution. The meeting begins by approving the report of the previous meeting and reviewing the replies from doctors who have been asked for additional information. If this information is sufficient, the declaration is approved. The new documents are then reviewed. During this review, the members present can provide clarifications or make comments to help evaluate the file correctly. If a doubt or imprecision persists, the Commission may decide, by consensus or simple majority, to open Section I for further information or clarification from the reporting doctor. If the answers provided are still unsatisfactory, the doctor concerned may be invited to a Commission meeting to explain their file and answer members' questions. If the Commission considers that the conditions set out in the Law have not been met, the case is put to the vote with a view to a possible referral to the Public Prosecutor. At least two-thirds of voting members must agree to this referral.
It should be stressed that Commission members are bound by a duty of confidentiality. This means that data entrusted to them in the exercise of and related to their mission cannot be made public (Art. 12 of the Law).
If a registration document concerns a Commission member, they abstain from taking part in the discussion and any vote concerning it. Article 8 stipulates that "when the lifting of anonymity reveals facts or circumstances likely to affect the independence or impartiality of the judgement of a member of the Commission, that member shall recuse themselves or may be recused from the Commission's consideration of the case."
The Commission is made up of sixteen full members and sixteen alternate members, broken down as follows:
Eight members are medical doctors, at least four of whom are lecturers, professors or emeritus professors at a Belgian university.
Four members are lecturers, professors or emeritus professors in law at a Belgian university or lawyers.
Four members come from circles dealing with the issue of patients with an incurable disease.
Linguistic parity and pluralism must be respected in the Commission's composition. In addition, each language group must have at least three members of each gender.
Members are appointed by Royal Decree for a four-year term based on a double list adopted by the Chamber of Representatives. The Commission is chaired by two presidents: a French-speaking president and a Dutch-speaking president, elected by their respective language groups.
ALTERNATE MEMBERS: In view of the fact that, despite the publication of 9 calls for candidates in the Moniteur belge, insufficient candidates were submitted to form a complete double list, a single list of candidates was submitted by the House of Representatives on 9 February 2023. This list meets all the criteria (linguistic role, category, gender). A new call for candidates will be published at a later date with a view to the submission of a second list by the House for the mandates of substitute members.
As medical doctors:
As law professors at a Belgian university or lawyers:
As members from circles dealing with the issue of patients with an incurable disease:
Internal regulations and operating procedures of the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia
This document is only available in Dutch and French.
Welcome to the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia.
This page is only available in Dutch and French.
Website of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Health section > Taking care of yourself > Beginning and end of life > Euthanasia
Euthanasia in Belgium
This page exists in Dutch , French, and German only.
+32 2 524 92 63
+32 2 524 92 64
Adresse postale :
Avenue Galilée, 5/2
This page is only available in Dutch and French.
On 1 March 2021, the Euthanasia Commission moved to Avenue Galilée, 5/2, 1210 Brussels. Consult this section regularly for the most recent version of the euthanasia registration documents. The telephone numbers and e-mail addresses remain unchanged.
Whether the euthanasia is carried out on the basis of a current request or an advance declaration, the doctor who carried out the euthanasia must complete a euthanasia registration document and return it to the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia within four working days of the euthanasia.
Two registration documents are available:
Current request for euthanasia
If the patient who wishes to be euthanised is
They must draft a current request for euthanasia, even if an advance declaration of euthanasia has already been drafted in accordance with the statutory template.
Example of a current request:
I, the undersigned ...... residing at ............... request euthanasia.
Done at............ on ......... "
Advance declaration of euthanasia
This is a written declaration based on a statutory template (including a requirement for two witnesses).
In this declaration, a person gives their consent for a doctor to carry out euthanasia in accordance with the conditions and procedures laid down by law, in the event that they are suffering from a serious incurable condition and are unable to express their request because they are irreversibly unconscious (coma or vegetative state).
Any person capable of expressing their will, who is an adult or emancipated minor, and who has an identification number in the National Register, can draft and/or register an advance declaration of euthanasia with the municipal administration.
This declaration can be made at any time and can be revised or withdrawn.
Such a declaration will only be taken into consideration if the patient is in a state of irreversible unconsciousness and incapable of expressing their wishes.
A doctor dealing with an unconscious patient who is incapable of expressing a request for euthanasia, and who finds themselves in a situation where euthanasia could be applied, can consult the registration system for advance declarations. If the patient has not registered a declaration, the doctor will ask the patient's relatives whether the patient has written one.
If the patient who wishes to be euthanised is conscious, capable of expressing their wishes and in a medical situation that meets the conditions laid down by law, they will have to make a current request for euthanasia in writing, even if an advance declaration of euthanasia has already been drafted in accordance with the template provided for by the law.
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At present, there are no events planned for this advisory or consultation body.