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You are here News Health Belgium's parliament votes to allow child euthanasia

Belgium's parliament votes to allow child euthanasia

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belgium parliamentParliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice. It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and who have no treatment available.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

Under the Dutch conditions, a patient's request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is "voluntary and well-considered" and the patient is suffering unbearably, with no prospect of improvement.

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