Media Release 18th February 2014
The Belgium Parliament has passed a highly controversial law allowing for the killing of children and patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Bill was passed on Friday 14 February by 86 to 44 with 12 abstentions. Belgium now becomes the first country to allow for sick children to be killed. Public opinion polls revealed that the Bill had the support of 75 per cent of the population of Belgium. Doctors are now permitted to kill their child patients if the child is in unbearable pain, is in a terminal condition, has requested it repeatedly, has parental consent, has been seen by a psychiatrist and a psychologist and the killing is approved by the patients doctor. Doctors kill their patients with a lethal injection.
A palliative care nurse, who had cared for 200 dying children, gave evidence that she had never had a child ask for their life to be terminated.
The Bill had the support of the Greens, the Socialists and was opposed by the Christian Democrats. Those who promoted the law said that this now legalises what is already being done. Dr Philippe Mahoux author of the 2002 Euthanasia legislation “Right to Die” in support of it said that the bill was “the ultimate gesture of humanity” and removed the discrimination against a “child’s right to die”.