Euthanasia expanded to children in Belgium

Belgium’s parliament votes through child euthanasia

BBC.com

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.

It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.

In the Netherlands, Belgium’s northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

Conditions for child euthanasia

  • Patient must be conscious of their decision
  • Request must be approved by parents and medical team
  • Illness must be terminal
  • Patient must be in great pain with no treatment available to alleviate their distress

Under the Dutch conditions, a patient’s request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is “voluntary and well-considered” and the patient is suffering unbearably, with no prospect of improvement.

‘Immoral’ law

One man in the public gallery of Belgium’s parliament shouted “murderers” in French when the vote was passed, Reuters news agency reports.

Supporters of the legislation argue that in practice the law will affect an extremely small number of children, who would probably be in their teens, the BBC’s Duncan Crawford reports from Brussels.

The law states a child would have to be terminally ill, face “unbearable physical suffering” and make repeated requests to die – before euthanasia is considered.

Parents, doctors and psychiatrists would have to agree before a decision is made.

Protesters have lobbied politicians against the changes.

Church leaders argued the law is immoral.

“The law says adolescents cannot make important decisions on economic or emotional issues, but suddenly they’ve become able to decide that someone should make them die,” Brussels Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, said at a prayer vigil last week.

Some pediatricians have warned vulnerable children could be put at risk and have questioned whether a child can really be expected to make such a difficult choice.

Last week 160 Belgian pediatricians signed an open letter against the law, claiming that there was no urgent need for it and that modern medicine is capable of alleviating pain.

But opinion polls have suggested broad support for the changes in Belgium, which is mostly Catholic.

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26181615

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Other sources reported a condition that the child understand the decision is final.

7 comments on “Euthanasia expanded to children in Belgium

  1. Mrs. AL says:

    I would put this on the other site, Bullright. This is scary!!! Coming to a country near us. And yes, it can happen in this country. GOVERNEMENT RUN HEALTHCARE my foot.

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  2. Davetherave says:

    What a horrible law! And we in the US should be very well educated on piss poor laws with Barry at the helm.

    The supporter’s: “Supporters of the legislation argue that in practice the law will affect an extremely small number of children, who would probably be in their TEENS…”

    Belgium law passed: “…children without ANY age limit…”

    WTF? Am I missing something here or is that kinda rhetoric exactly what the liberal loons here spit out? Damn, they sound more screwed up over there than here and whodathunkit possible!?

    Mrs. AL makes her usual great observation in noting the standard now set by the Belgium idiots leave the door wide open for the idiots in the US to pick up and run with it. Lord knows the Idiot In Chief would LOVE to pass that law here. One of Barry’s heroes, the evil enchantress Margaret Sanger, would be so proud of the Bumbling Idiot Belgium’s…

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    • bullright says:

      Yea, Dave, “no age limit” and they’re proud of that. The margin it passes in a Catholic country is stunning. I don’t think you’re missing anything, but many others have lost their outrage over this stuff.

      I could almost see Obama starting something like it. Peter Singer, Princeton bio-ethics, could run the program. But they wouldn’t be burdened with terminal illness restrictions. Call it late, late-term. Open it wide, why discriminate? Obama and his Obamacare advisers are just the kind to pick up that ball and run with it…as far as they can.

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  3. tannngl says:

    I believe it was the Netherlands that stated when they allowed adult euthanasia that it would never involve children. And now it does. They have started defining ‘pain’ loosely. It’s allowable murder.

    Have you ever thought about someone who is depressed? I have spent hours with people who wanted to commit suicide, trying to convince them not to and to wait until their depression is relieved. When it is, they are so thankful that they waited. Depression is a critical illness. And so are others.

    This law is horrendous.

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    • bullright says:

      Well said, it is. Coupled with their late-term program, its ….well, I was never crazy about using the word Holocaust to describe abortion, but genocide is appropriate. This too will evolve. As you say Netherlands. Now they’ll update their policy.

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