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Belgium: 95-year-old athlete commits euthanasia

Wednesday - 1/8/2014, 10:30am  ET

BRUSSELS (AP) -- A European masters athletics champion at 95, Emiel Pauwels committed euthanasia because he suffered from cancer -- but not before holding a celebration complete with champagne.

Pauwels still looked a picture of vigor when he celebrated his impending death with friends and family, raising glasses two days before an official from his hometown of Bruges confirmed his death Wednesday.

His son Eddy told VTM network he "agreed 110 percent with father" to step out of life when prospects offered no hope.

In Belgium, euthanasia is legal for people over age 18 and over 1,400 people a year choose the option to die peacefully.

Pauwels held the over-90 60 meters European title he won last year. Bruges is planning to name a street after him.


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