Today, it is being reported that Belgium is expected to soon get rid of age restrictions on euthanasia. Changes to euthanasia legislation passed the Belgian Senate last December. According to the Associated Press, the lower house, the Chamber of Representatives, is expected to approve of the changes tomorrow after debate today.
More from the AP:
The legislation appears to have wide support in the largely liberal country. But it has also aroused intense opposition – including from paediatricians – and people have staged noisy street protests, fearing that vulnerable children will be talked into making an irreversible choice.
Backers such as Dr Gerland van Berlaer, a prominent Brussels paediatrician, believe euthanasia is the merciful thing to do. The law will be specific enough that it will apply only to the handful of teenage boys and girls who are in advanced stages of cancer or other terminal illnesses and suffering unbearable pain, he said.
Under current law, they must let nature take its course or wait until they turn 18 and can request euthanasia.
King Philippe must approve of any changes to the legislation before they can go into effect. According to the AP, he has not taken a public position on the issue.
I wrote about Belgian lawmakers considering allowing child euthanasia last November.