Belgian lawmakers extend euthanasia to children

Brussels, Feb 14: Belgium Thursday endorsed new “right-to-die” legislation, which makes it the first country to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age.

A total of 86 lawmakers voted in favour, 44 against and 12 abstained in the Chamber of Representatives to pass the law, Xinhua reported.

Opposition had been strong before the vote. Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups issued a joint declaration denouncing the law. The Christian Democrats, part of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo’s coalition, decided against the law in the vote.

The law allowed euthanasia for children of any age, the boldest the world has ever known. The Netherlands gives permission of euthanasia only to children of 12 years old and up.

According to the law, psychologists must test the children to confirm they understand what they are doing. Parental approval is also requested for its implementation.

IANS