Belgium's oldest athlete, 95, chooses euthanasia, champagne

January 7, 2014

A Belgian aged 95 and known affectionately as the country's 'oldest athlete', has chosen euthanasia after toasting his imminent death with champagne along with some 100 friends and family.

Emiel Pauwels, who said Monday he had "no regrets...and absolutely no fear of death," was shown in the press Tuesday smiling and sharing a toast with family, and colleagues from his sports club at his home.

"It is the best party of my life," Pauwels was quoted as saying. "Who would not want to go out with and surrounded by all their friends?"

"When the doctor arrives with his injection, I shall leave this world knowing that I have led a full life," he said according to the Flemish daily Het Laatste Nieuws.

Pauwels had been confined to bed in recent months, suffering from terminal stomach cancer.

In only March last year, he had chalked up his last notable athletic achievement—winning the European indoor 60 metres champion for veterans.

Belgium introduced in 2002 and in 2012 reported 1,432 cases, up 25 percent. The country is currently discussing extending the law to allow mercy killing for children aged over 12.

Explore further: Belgian euthanised due to sex change distress

Related Stories

Belgian euthanised due to sex change distress

October 1, 2013
A 44-year-old Belgian in distress after a failed sex change was euthanised this week after doctors agreed to the mercy-killing on psychological grounds, national media said Tuesday.

Belgian upper house approves euthanasia for children

December 12, 2013
Belgium's upper house on Thursday backed plans to extend mercy-killing to terminally-ill children amid an intense public debate.

Belgian Nobel winner commits euthanasia at 95

May 6, 2013
Eminent Belgian scientist Christian de Duve, a winner of the Nobel prize for medicine, died Saturday aged 95 after committing euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium, his family said.

Belgian euthanasia law allows first death of a prisoner

September 13, 2012
A gravelly ill prisoner serving a long jail sentence has become the first inmate to die under Belgian euthanasia laws introduced 10 years ago, press reports said Thursday.

Belgium moves closer to euthanasia for minors

June 20, 2013
Belgian lawmakers on Thursday moved closer to legalising the euthanasia of minors, so long as they are judged capable of deciding for themselves.

Row over euthanasia for minors intensifies in Belgium

November 6, 2013
A heated debate on proposals to legalise euthanasia for minors in Belgium, one of the few countries to allow it for adults, intensified on Wednesday with supporters and opponents pressing their case.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.