Belgium Allows Child Euthanasia Bill To Pass in Parliament

by on December 12, 2015 - 2:03pm   

    Michelle Gomez

    Prof. Dr. Decker

    Human Bio 109

    News Activist Assignment  



 Belgium  since the year 2002 has put into affect with the support of Parliament and Senate a bill that allows child euthanasia for children with terminally ill diseases under the age of eighteen years old. This controversial  issue sparks public debate on the right to live and die in children as well as their mental competency to make this medical decision. In Belgium particularly which is one of three countries that allow for child euthanasia  includes The Netherlands and Luxembourg is on the forefront political agenda for religious leaders, the monarch, parents and medical professionals.

 Beglium should be regarded as the first country in the world to uphold any personal freedoms of children when they are terminally ill. In a more simpler defintion, Belgium is the first to eradicate any limitations for child euthanasia. Child euthanasia  though is not just an medical decision, it must meet certain criteria. The child must be suffering  from a terminally fatal condition. The child (patient) must be nearing the cycle of end of life. The child needs to be evaluated and then deemed as un-able to help through medicinal efforts. The child must be able to comprehend and understand fully the decisions they are making. The child also must reflect the ability to make this profound end of life choice.

 A child's ability to  make  this decision is where much political  agenda arises. Varying from religious aspects, to Belgium's own monarchy support by the King Phillippe, to the opposition by medical professionals and parents' of medically sick fated children, all are left in a heated debate to whether child euthanasia  should be put into pass. Key issues  that make child euthanasia  spark are a child'support mind is often under-developed. They tend to make quick or on the spot decisions rather than long-term decisions. They also do not have the instinct structure to make short and long term decisions. Children are not yet fully mature to make mental reasoning, emotional stances, and moral decisions as adults. Children tend to be swayed easily by adults such as their caregivers or authority figures. A child before undergoing euthanasia  must be seen by psychologists, care-givers, and doctors' to initiate  the actual life ending process. 

 Religious strife has come into play in child euthanasia  from multiple aspects. One perception by Muslim and Jewish proctors and leaders in Belgium is that when givin humanity power to be able to determine the end of life, how could this power not absolutely corrupt-? In other words Society through  humanity and mankind can more easily  abuse the law as well as a child's rights. Another religious aspect is should a country, state or nation be making this decision to exemplify the end of life? What kind of socioeconomic  pattern would a government  be displaying that the end of a life is measureable-? Religious  doctrine would better explain  this notion as  when any country allowing this medical law marking the death phase of a human's life by sensationalism. Religious  leaders are worried that death is marking a country's nation as planting it's seeds in its government  and it's people. Parents that are against euthanasia state loosely that a child should have the option to die with dignity and grace. They should  be fighting to live even just breathing because life is never gauranteed. Life is a gift. Life is precious.

 As Belgium's euthanasia  law has passed political perspectives have stirred it's people. One theory is that the bill passed for allowing child euthanasia  does not focus or clearly define the ability of the child to make theit own decisions. The bill does not also clearly state the possibility  of the child being influenced by the parents  and/or caregivers. The bill from a political standpoint does not consider or guard against misuses or interpretations of mis-conduct of the child euthanasia. The bill cannot protect the most innocent individual  in its doctrine which is the child. It was not their decision to be born or inherit abnormal genes and or diseases. Children who are in their phases of fatal diseases need to be advocated and protected from the opportunity  of criminal and let's face it evil forces. Parliament passed themail child euthanasia  bill with 86 MS voting in favor, 44 against and 12 abstentions. Public support is about 75% that a child should have the same rights as an adult. It should be noted that since 2002 the ability  to make this life ending state increased from 25% to 1432. Another possible perspective could be who monitors cases of child euthanasia  in statistical analysis. 

 Child euthanasia when passed by medical professionals is given in high doses to the child. They are given sedatives. They are also withheld food and liquids to shorten theit life process. Child euthanasia typically takes a couple of hours spanning a number of days.

 Child euthanasia  is really a complex subject that cannot be made by just the factor of the fatal disease. The patient is a child. They need to be heard. They need to be fought for. They need to be seen. Child euthanasia  is not necessarily  a medical choice but can be a personal choice. It should be a personal decision alone to end un-think able symptoms and suffering  of rare and fatal diseases. Life somehow needs to be diagnosed in the child euthanasia process. Somewhere. Somehow.

My Questions for You:

What is your perspective? 

Do you believe a child is capable of making a decision  such as euthanasia, why or why not?

What would you tell Government  about this topic?

My references:





I really thought this was an interesting topic! I read up on some of the children who made or were going through these diseases. I did not want to add them in my summary as I did not want to influence the reader too much. I wanted them to read and hear all sides of the story but without emotion.

Euthanasia in itself is a very interesting and controversial topic, but child euthanasia? That's heartbreaking. If I were a parent and my child had an incurable and painful illness, I don't know what I would do. When it comes to adults, I feel that it's very different. For the elderly and adults, they have had the opportunity to experience life, and if they want to "go", they should be able to go- plus they fully understand the choice they are making. My greatest concern would be my child having to deal with the pain of dying as well as the pain that comes from knowing they're dying at such a young age. I would have to talk with my child, explain everything in a way they could understand, and if they chose to euthanize, I would make their last days, hours, or minutes the best I could. No parent should have to attend their child's funeral, but it's unfair to make a child suffer from something they can't overcome.

Hi how are you? Thank you for responding. Child euthanasia is really a heavy but necessary topic. I chose this topic because I wanted to reflect that are minds are very much a biology. I believe our bodies are yes very much molecules, cells, atp processes, chemical reactions ect. It is our mind that I truly believe keeps our minds alive. For these children they are born into a world partly created by their parents with the inability to fight and live their lives'. The other factor may be genetics. I think a lot of children do not receive a fair life. I think diseases and risk factors take away our chances. I think life has to be fought for. I think kids need to be recognized as adults more. I believe they should be heard more. For example, when I was younger all I wanted to do was wear make-up and my dress shoes like all the time. I was never allowed that. Until this very day I wonder if I would have been a differ person because of it. Well gotta go but thank you to responding! Have a Great break!

First of all, I would like to congratulate you for this interesting article. It was the first time that I have read about this subject and your article led me to do some further researches. The only comment that I have in mind is that it would have been interesting and important that you mention de reliability of your different sources. You have four sources to back up your article, which is very good but, one of them (the third one) can't be viewed. On the other hand, you made very good choices by picking the three other sources because they were informative and instructive. Moreover, it would also been captivating if you had stated a doctor or a professional's opinion on this subject. It would of given your article more credibility. Finally, for the most part, I thought that your article and the information provided were helpful to understand this heartbreaking subject.