The Belgian media is reporting that the bill to extend euthanasia to children in Belgium will likely be voted on Thursday February 13.
The Belgian government announced today that the debate on the child euthanasia bill, in the Chamber of Deputies, will occur on February 12 and the vote will likely happen the next day, but possibly on the same day of the debate.
Earlier reports suggested that the child euthanasia bill would be voted-on in May.
Why is the Belgium government fast tracking the child euthanasia bill?
The bill is being fast tracked likely because a strong opposition to the bill is developing.
(1) Even the most complex medical cases can be solved in the current legal framework, with the means and expertise at our disposal. For whom is this legislation therefore designed?(2) Children in Belgium are not suffering. The palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospital and at home.(3) A sensitive child may perceive the option of euthanasia as a solution or a duty, especially if the child feels that the parents can no longer bear to see him suffer.(4) In practice, there is no objective method for determining whether a child is gifted with the ability of discernment and judgment. So this is actually largely subjective and subject to other influences.
We believe that there is no urgency to pass this bill in the current legislature.
Last week, a large number of the European Parliament members signed a Declaration opposing the euthanasia for children in Belgium.
The Declaration states that extending euthanasia to children:
(1) betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium by accepting that their lives may no longer have any inherent value or worth and that they should die;(2) mistakenly assumes that children are able give appropriate informed consent to euthanasia and that they can understand the grave meaning and complex consequences associated with such a decision;(3) promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society.
(1) euthanasia is widely under-reported;(2) euthanasia is often done without an explicit request;(3) and nurses are lethally injecting patients, even though the law does not permit it.
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