expected, the lower house of Belgium’s parliament, the Chamber
of Representatives, has voted to extend the country’s
euthanasia laws to children. King Philippe must approve the change
before it can go into effect.
More from RTT:
Euthanasia is the intentional termination of a very sick
person’s life by a doctor in order to relieve him or her of their
pain and suffering.
The right to euthanasia for minors bill was passed in the lower
house of the Parliament, the Chamber of Representatives, by 86 to
44 votes. 12 MPs abstained from voting.
The Belgian Senate overwhelmingly
approved the proposed change to euthanasia legislation
last December in a 50-17 vote.
As the Associated
Press explains, only two other countries have legalized
euthanasia, the Netherlands and Luxembourg:
Besides Belgium, the only other countries to have legalised
euthanasia are the Netherlands and Luxembourg, said Kenneth
Chambaere, a sociologist and member of the End-of-Life Care
research group at the Free University Brussels and University of
In Luxembourg, a patient must be 18. In the Netherlands,
children between 12 and 15 may be given euthanasia with their
parents’ permission, while those who are 16 or 17 must notify their
Although the change to euthanasia legislation had widespread
public support it was opposed by
some doctors and Roman Catholic clergy.
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