Belgium Weighing Euthanasia for Children
Belgium appears on the verge of becoming the first developed country to legalize euthanasia for children, Baptist Press reports. The Belgian Federal Parliament reportedly has a consensus for passing legislation that would permit some seriously ill children to choose to die by euthanasia, according to the International Business Times, which based its reporting on an article in the Belgian newspaper Der Morgen. To conduct euthanasia, a physician administers a lethal dose of drugs that takes a patient's life. Belgian legislators are considering a bill that would guide doctors in determining if a child's health is serious enough to merit euthanasia and whether he is mature enough to decide to end his life, according to the June 11 report. Euthanasia of children is a reality now, according to the testimony of the head of the intensive care unit at Fabiola Hospital in Brussels. "We all know that euthanasia is already practiced on children," he told a Senate committee. "Yes, active euthanasia." The Netherlands has not legalized euthanasia for children but has agreed since 2005 not to prosecute doctors who follow a set of rules while performing euthanasia on some minors.