Cross-posted from Alex Schadenberg’s blog.
Belgian MP’s debating extending euthanasia to children with disabilities and people with dementia
By Alex Schadenberg,
An article written by Adam Withnall and published in the The Independent on October 8, 2013 is reporting that the Belgian parliament has resumed its debate on the extension of euthanasia to children with disabilities and people with Alzheimer’s/dementia.
The article states:
Belgium is set to debate this week 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’s 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.
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.
Dr Dominique Biarent, who runs the intensive care unit at a Brussels children’s hospital, told the Wall Street Journal that this does happen, though rarely, and only ever at the initiative of the child’s parents.