Belgium Lawmakers Vote to Support Child Euthanasia

Lawmakers in the Belgium Parliament have voted to adopt a bill that would make child euthanasia legal in the country. Since it has already passed a Senate, if it is signed by the King, the children’s “right to die” measure will become law. According to the new policy, under certain circumstances, terminally ill children would be allowed to request that doctors intentionally end their lives. Even though the measure received overwhelming support from legislators (it passed on am 86 to 44 vote, with 12 abstentions), critics, including pediatricians, say it is misguided and dangerous. In an open letter, a group of 175 children’s doctors wrote that the law “responds to no real demand”, and young patients never asked to be euthanized. In addition to putting even more pressure on parents during a stressful time (parental approval would be needed in euthanasia cases for minors), they also argued that many children don’t have the capacity to fully grasp death. In 2002, the Netherlands passed a similar measure. Since then, five terminally ill children have been killed by doctors …

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