Thursday, February 13, 2014
Belgium recently became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for children.
Children of any age who become terminally ill can now request that their doctors kill them by lethal injection. Opinion polls show that a child’s right to be euthanized enjoys popular support in Belgium, with 75% in favor. However, the Bill was vigorously opposed by the Catholic Church as well as Muslim and Jewish leaders. 160 Belgian pediatricians published an open letter denouncing child euthanasia as unnecessary and dangerous.
Children requesting euthanasia must be in the advanced stages of a terminal illness, be in unbearable pain, obtain parental consent, and demonstrate a “capacity for discernment” to a psychologist.
See Simon Caldwell, Belgium Votes to Legalise Euthanasia for Children Despite Protest from 160 Doctors, Daily Mail, Feb. 13, 2014.