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Protests as Belgium set to legalise euthanasia for children


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

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

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

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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New group launched in Europe to oppose euthanasiadebate

Michael Cook

Concern about the steady expansion of the boundaries of euthanasia in Belgium is growing. The Belgian parliament is currently considering whether to extend the right to euthanasia to children and the demented, sparking considerable debate on the issue locally and overseas. One response has been the formation of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe. The coordinator, a Welsh disability activist, Kevin Fitzpatrick, says:

"The UK, France and Germany are currently considering legislation, but overwhelming evidence from jurisdictions where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is legal, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, demonstrates beyond doubt, how quickly and easily euthanasia is extended to others, especially disabled people and elderly people. High-profile cases here have provoked international outrage leading commentators to think of Belgium as the new world leader in exploiting euthanasia against those with disabilities and mental health issues....

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Euthanasia for children is wrong

In the Press  Categorie Citizens'opinion

Belgium is mooting an unprecedented law that would allow the voluntary euthanasia of children.

Voluntary euthanasia is intentionally ending a life at the request of the patient. It is lawful, on various differing grounds, in several jurisdictions, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg...

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Dr. Patrick Cras, a neurologist at the University of Antwerp, said people with dementia often change their minds about wanting to die.

"They may turn into different people and may not have the same feelings about wanting to die as when they were fully competent," he said. "I don't see myself killing another person if he or she isn't really aware of exactly what's happening simply on the basis of a previous written request (to have euthanasia). I haven't fully made up my mind but I think this is going too far....

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