Euthanasia for Children and Those With Dementia – Belgium Style

In the ever-expanding criteria to legalize death for the most vulnerable, the Belgium Parliament is debating whether euthanasia should be extended to children with disabilities and those with dementia. Belgium already has very relaxed laws allowing assisted suicide for adults over 18. An article published in The Independent newspaper earlier this month states:

“Belgium is set to debate….whether or not it will extend its laws allowing euthanasia to include children and those suffering from long-term ‘diseases of the brain’ like Alzheimer’s… Under the bill being considered, this could be extended to those under 18 if they requested it, their parents gave their consent, and where an expert psychologist deemed the child to fully understand the implications of their decision. Under the proposals, medically-assisted euthanasia would also be offered as an option to those suffering from Alzheimer’ disease. Once diagnosed and while still lucid, they would be able to consent to being killed when their illness progressed to the point where doctors decided they were no longer interacting with society — even if on the surface they appeared to be happy and well.”

The article continues: “Supporters of the euthanasia bill say it would simply be bringing under legal control something which already happens anyway. Studies have shown that, with terminally ill children whose parents are begging for their suffering to be brought to an end, doctors have been steadily increasing doses of painkillers until they reach lethal amounts.”

The debate in Belgium is further proof that once you allow doctor-prescribed suicide or euthanasia under the narrowest of circumstances, the clamor begins to expand the number of populations for which this “benefit” would be appropriate. A culture of death, for sure.

Barbara Lyons

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