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Belgium to vote on extending euthanasia to children

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Belgian MPs are set to vote on whether to extend the country’s euthanasia laws to children and patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Legislation to permit euthanasia was introduced in the country in 2002, but restricted the procedure to people aged 18 or over.

Socialist party

A bill to permit under 18s to access euthanasia was introduced by the Socialist Party in December, with MPs expected to vote on the controversial legislation this week.

If the law passes, Belgium will become the first country to introduce euthanasia for minors.

The bill also proposes to allow the procedure to be accessed by those suffering from Alzheimer's and other diseases leading to advanced dementia.


Recently, a woman controversially ended her life under the country’s euthanasia laws following a sex change operation, in the first case of its kind.

Nathan Verhelst, 44 (born Nancy) was given a lethal injection by cancer specialist Dr Wim Distelmans,on the grounds that she was suffering from “intolerable psychological pain”.

This is the same doctor who euthanized two deaf twin brothers, Marc and Eddy Verbessem (45) after they expressed fears that they would turn blind as a result of a genetic disorder. 

Recent statistics show a 25 per cent increase in Belgian euthanasia cases in 2012 compared to the previous year.



Related stories:

Belgium considers euthanasia for children

Belgian killed by euthanasia after sex change operation

Twins killed by lethal injection because of possible blindness