First minor in the world gets Euthanasia
Q. Belgium has legalised euthanasia for minors in which year?- Published on 19 Sep 16
Euthanasia or mercy killing is legal in Belgium since 2002. The nation amended its rules to permit doctor assisted death in 2014.
Belgian law allows doctor assisted death for minors under strict conditions:
- 17 year old has been euthanised in Belgium in what was the first application of rules adopted by the country in 2014 allowing mercy killing for minors of all ages by doctors
- Wim Distelmans chairing the Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, said in an e-mailed statement that the first case was reported to his committee by a local doctor
- Belgium is currently the only country in the world permitting euthanasia for minors of all ages
- In the Netherlands a neighbouring country, practice is legal for children aged at least 12
- The authorisation of parents is needed
- Psychologists or psychiatrists must be consulted
- Minors must be conscious and rational at the time of choosing euthanasia
- To undergo euthanasia, the minor must also be in a “terminal medical situation with constant and unbearable physical pain which cannot be assuaged and that will cause death in the short term,” the law says.
- Between 2003 and 2013, the number of patients euthanised in Belgium was 8752
- Twelve years after legalising euthanasia for adults, Belgian parliament extended the right to die to terminally ill children of any age in 2014
- The ground-breaking legislation was adopted by 86 votes in favour, 44 against and with 12 abstentions. Belgium is one of three countries in Europe to allow euthanasia for adults.
- The law offers the possibility of euthanasia to children “in a hopeless medical situation of constant and unbearable suffering that cannot be eased.”