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"Euthanasia for minors could be taken" is Belgium heading?

Michael Cook
Journalist

The Belgian law passed on 28 May 2002 and authorising euthanasia imposes the following condition, namely that the patient must be suffering from a "serious, incurable disease".

Eleven years later, an extension to the practice is about to be approved, but numerous spin-offs have been noted...

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Lifting the veil: what really happens in Belgium's healthcare system with euthanasia

Claire-Marie LE HUU-ETCHECOPAR  Categorie Testimonies
Infirmière, Bruxelles

As a nurse in Brussels, I first worked in a cancer ward and in a care unit support. So I was very quickly confronted with the demands and the practice of euthanasia. For six years, I have seen how this law significantly undermines the links of solidarity we have for the sick. More than just highlighting dubious procedures, today we are now helping along a radical change in attitudes towards death and care of the dying.

Euthanasia legal, ethically precariou...

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Why euthanasia slippery slopes can't be prevented

Margareth Somerville  Categorie Slipery Slope
Prof. et Bioéthicienne

Advocates of legalizing euthanasia reject "slippery slope" arguments as unfounded fear-mongering and claim that its use will always be restricted to rare cases of dying people with unrelievable, unbearable suffering. But, as the Netherlands and Belgium demonstrate, that's not what results, in practice.

The logical and practical slippery slopes are unavoidable and inevitable, because those consequences are built into the act of legalization through its justification of inflicting death. Once we cross the clear line that we must not intentionally kill another person, there's no logical stopping point...

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Protests as Belgium set to legalise euthanasia for children

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Belgium faced fresh protests as its parliament debated whether to extend a ground-breaking euthanasia law to terminally-ill children, making it only the second nation to allow minors the right to die.

More than 200 pediatricians petitioned lawmakers to postpone the vote on the grounds it was both ill-prepared and unnecessary. "Pain can be eased nowadays, there's been huge progress in palliative care," said Nadine Francotte, a cancer specialist in the city of Liege who signed the petition...

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Physicians are Healers – Not Killers

American College of PEDIATRICIANS  Categorie Opinion from medical professionals
Pediatricians

Gainesville, Florida – February 17, 2014 – It is the role of every medical professional to deliver care to ailing patients with compassion, always striving to preserve the patient's life and dignity. The American College of Pediatricians is appalled by Netherlands' recent legalization of Neonatal Euthanasia and Belgium's legalization of euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age, and alerts healthcare professionals to the possibility of similar legislation in the United States.

The concept of euthanasia is based on a utilitarian worldview that defines the value of the individual in terms of that individual's contribution to society. This ideology relegates neonates, especially those infants with congenital defects, to an expendable status. Dr. Den Trumbull states, "This belief system underlies many of the current proposals for the allocation of healthcare resources in America. Even the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prescribes that scarce resources be focused on adolescents and adults under 50. The youngest who have not yet contributed to society and the oldest that have already "lived long enough" are to receive only attenuated interventions. Under this system, certain newborn infants would be considered the least worthy to be recipient of available medical resources....

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Pediatricians' Open Letter to all Belgian Political Party Presidents

170 Paediatricians  Categorie Official positions
Pediatricians

On their concern about extending the law on euthanasia

A group of 75 pediatricians and higher education professors today forwarded an open letter to all Belgian political party presidents. The doctors, who care daily for sick children, ask that further thought be given before extending the law on euthanasia for minors. Without demanding that the bill be scrapped, they nevertheless do demand a time for reflexion...

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Writtten Declaration of Members of the Council of Europe

61 Parlementaires Council of Europe  Categorie Official positions
Parlementaires

the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), with the support of 61 members, has registered a written declaration against child euthanasia in Belgium (no. 567).

The declaration recalls previous PACE resolutions in "encourag the member states of the Council of Europe to respect and protect the dignity of terminally ill or dying persons in all respects by upholding the prohibition against intentionally taking the life of terminally ill or dying persons." It further calls on states to "recognis that the right to life, especially with regard to a terminally ill or dying person, is guaranteed by the member states, in accordance with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that 'no one shall be deprived of his life intentionally....

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