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Euthanizing children

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The question of whether parents and doctors should be allowed to euthanize children has been answered in Belgium, where the senate recently amended the country’s groundbreaking law enacted in 2002, by extending the right for doctor-assisted deaths for minors. The measure is expected to pass the lower house as well.
“A child in agony doesn’t care about a slippery slope (referring to fears that the practice may lead to a floodgate of unnecessary deaths). Before the senate vote, pediatricians testified about the intense suffering of terminally ill children under their care and their helplessness to alleviate the pain,” stated Beatrice Delavaux, editor-in-chief of Le Soir (newspaper).

In fact it was reported that some of the doctors had admitted to having administered lethal injections at the parents’ request.

Most Belgians have no quandaries regarding euthanasia, and consider it acceptable based on an individual’s right to choose whether or not to end their own life. In fact, 2,000 citizens there ended their lives that way between 2010-2011, even though a number of them were not terminally ill. These included 45-year old twin brothers, born deaf, who were told they were going blind, as well as a 44-year old man who was distraught over botched sex-change operations (see http://www.examiner.com/article/transexual-chooses-death-over-disgrace).

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