Euthanasia for minors/people ask Belgium to reconsider its decision

Publié le : 14 February 2014

 Whilst Belgium is currently preparing to examine the draft bill on euthanasia for minors, numerous voices of authority are continuing to be heard, beseeching Belgium not to "take irreparable steps".

At a time when Belgium is in the last stages of voting on euthanasia for minors, the first international congress of paediatric palliative care was held in Mumbai (India) from 10 to 12 February, bringing together 250 palliative care experts from 35 countries. On this occasion, they made an announcement to the whole world, "urging the Belgian Government to reconsider its recent decision". In the closing session of their summit meeting, they requested "access to appropriate resources to control the pain and symptoms of terminally ill children as well as high-quality palliative care to suit their specific requirements", stating that "euthanasia is not part and parcel of or an alternative for paediatric palliative care".

On 30 January 2014, 60 Council of Europe MPs jointly signed a declaration drawing attention to the draft law in Belgium.

In Belgium, the Humanists’ party (cdH) published its latest press release asking "political parties to act wisely". Party members are rebelling against a law that is totally unjustified because it does not satisfy any requirement. They are concerned about the short timeframe involved, condemning the government’s desire to draw this issue to a close before the spring elections. Such haste has prevented the Chamber from holding new hearings, especially with the medical profession.

If Belgium votes in favour of this draft bill, it will be the second country in the world to legalise euthanasia for its minors after the Netherlands. And the first not to specify a minimum age for euthanasia.

 

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