Belgium Extends Euthanasia Law to Kids (Erica G, Jenie J)

In our Bio-med class this six weeks we will be learning and completing a project about Medical Ethics. During this project we will be debating towards the case of whether or not to allow children  under the age of 18 to be permitted euthanasia. What is Euthanasia? It is the painless death of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. Our main goal as a team is to oppose against Belgium’s law, and make justice for those not being heard. The practice is illegal in most countries, 2 years ago euthanasia became legal in Belgium allowing children to decide whether they wanted to die.  Under the amendments to the country’s 2002 euthanasia law, a child of any age can be helped to die, but only under strict conditions. Dr. Stefaan Van Gool, a pediatrician at the University of Leuven, says the doctors were concerned that procedures for assessing a child’s mental capacity to make life-and-death decisions were not sufficiently clear in the bill.

They were also worried a child might be pressured into making a decision by parents, and that were are too many possibilities for misuse of the law. “I would be rather scared if it didn’t evoke emotional reactions: we’re talking about children,” says Dr.Gerlant van Berlaer. He also states that no doctor would ever take the decision to end a child’s life lightly. “The first reaction I will always have and all my colleagues will have is to run away from these questions because we don’t want to hear this,” says Dr. Gerlant van Berlaer.

Euthanasia is a very serious issue, that involves fully thought out decisions made with time, and responsibility, at this age kids do not have the mental capacity to decide life or death decisions, which is why we hope to remove this law and allow those who know the child in full depth and understanding to choose the right path for the child.  

“Belgium Extends Euthanasia Law to Kids.” N.p., 13 Feb. 2014. Web.

    5 May 2016. <


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