February 13, 2014

The Belgium Parliament passed a bill legalizing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit by a vote of 86 to 44. Belgium is the first country in the world to allow euthanasia for children who are terminally ill and request death.

The opposition to the bill argued that a child cannot make a decision of that magnitude and feared others would press a child into it.

In the Netherlands it is legal for children 12 and over with parents permission to be put to death.The Dutch require that the request be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is "voluntary and well-considered".

Many who are opposed to the law cite religious reasons and churches have also come out against the law too. Others argue that if a minor cannot make decisions about money or emotional issues how can they have the legal right to decide to die?  Some pediatricians have warned that vulnerable children could be put at risk under this law and have brought into question the ability for them to make such a big decision.

The question "should we allow children to choose death or life?" will now be a topic that more more countries will have to discuss.


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