Sunday, April 06, 2008

Belgium: Teens need right to 'medically assisted suicide'

This is hard to fathom - how can anyone consider this? From the Telegraph (U.K.) [boldface mine]:

Teenagers should be given the right to medically assisted suicide and the parents of terminally ill younger children should be able to choose euthanasia under proposals from members of Belgium's coalition government.

The plans to extend rules allowing doctors to perform euthanasia on terminally ill people suffering "constant and unbearable physical or psychological pain" comes amid heated Belgian debate on the issue.

Under existing Belgian laws, in place since 2002, patients, other than newborn babies, must be over 18 to qualify for assisted suicide, a situation that Bart Tommelein, leader of Belgium Liberals, wants changed.

Mr Tommelein, whose party is a key member of Belgium's coalition government, has pledged to bring forward new legislative proposals extending euthanasia to children and old people suffering from such severe dementia that they are unable to choose for themselves.

"We will seek, as Liberals, parliamentary majorities," Mr Tommelein said. . .

There are more than 39 cases of euthanasia declared by doctors in Belgium every month, but the true figure is thought to be double that.

Euthanasia is currently permitted on infants and more than half of the Belgian babies who die before they are 12 months old have been killed by deliberate medical intervention.

In 16 per cent of cases parental consent was not considered.

Read it all.
H/t to TitusOneNine.

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