Child Euthanasia In The Netherlands And Belgium

Richard Egan

On 12 December 2013 the Belgian Senate voted 50-17 in favour of a bill to amend the euthanasia law to allow “emancipated minors” to request euthanasia on the same terms as adults; and to allow “unemancipated minors” with the capacity for discernment to request euthanasia for a hopeless medical situation resulting in death shortly and who have reported a constant and unbearable physical suffering that cannot be appeased and that results from a serious and incurable disease or an accident.[1] For unemancipated minors at least one parent must consent to the act of euthanasia.

The proposed law was transmitted to the Chamber of Representatives on 13 December 2013[2] where it passed by 88 votes to 46 on 13 February 2014[3]. It was signed into law by the King on 3 March 2014 and is now in effect.

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