A study published this month in the Journal of Medical Ethics examined the “deliberate” euthanasia of patients in Belgium without their explicit, voluntary consent as required by law.

The study’s author, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom’s Hull University, found that life-ending drugs were used “with the intention to shorten life and without explicit request” in 1.7 percent of all deaths in Belgium in 2013.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Almost one in 20 people in northern Belgium died using euthanasia in 2013, more than doubling the numbers in six years, a study released Tuesday showed.

The universities of Ghent and Brussels found that since euthanasia was legalized in 2002, the acceptance of ending a life at the patient’s request has greatly increased. While a 2007 survey showed only 1.9 percent of deaths from euthanasia in the region, the figure was 4.6 percent in 2013.

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(Reuters) – France’s lower house of parliament passed a bill on Tuesday allowing patients near the end of their lives to stop medical treatment and request deep sedation until they die, a move that critics say is effectively a form of euthanasia.

The draft law, which polls show is backed by most French, passed in the lower house of parliament with 436 members voting in favor and 34 voting against. It is expected to get the final approval from the upper house in May or June.

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The French parliament is set to debate draft legislation allowing doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death. The bill is supported by President Francois Hollande, who included the controversial euthanasia issue on his election agenda.

The French leader called for “the right to deep, continuous sedation until death” if the patient asks for it, and if their condition threatens life in the short term. If a patient isn’t able to decide alone, then the doctor, after a necessary consultation, would end treatment by switching off their life support.

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