Ten prisoners in Belgian jails have asked for euthanasia, according to the television program Panorama. Authorities have granted the request of at least one man because he was terminally ill. The others are still waiting for a response.
According to journalist, Dirk Leestmans, in theory Belgian law permits prisoner euthanasia, as the nation’s 1,000 inmates have the same health rights as free citizens. But the request raises difficult questions. If they are euthanased because they are experiencing unbearable suffering, how much of that is due to the prison environment? And what exactly was the point of the abolition of capital punishment in 1996?
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