Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Belgium MPs adopt right-to-die for children  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 14/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) BRUSSELS: Twelve years after legalizing euthanasia for adults, Belgium’s parliament extended the right to die to terminally ill children of any age Thursday, despite opposition from the Church and some pediatricians


After months of heated debate, the lower House of Representatives adopted the legislation by a large majority, making the largely Catholic country the second after the Netherlands to allow mercy-killing for children, and the first to lift all age restrictions


The ground-breaking legislation was adopted by 86 votes in favor, 44 against and with 12 abstentions. Belgium is one of three countries in Europe to allow euthanasia for adults


“It is not a question of imposing euthanasia on anyone ... but of allowing a child not to agonize in pain,” said Socialist MP Karine Lalieux ahead of the vote


Unlike the Dutch across the border, where euthanasia is allowed for children over 12, the law states that any incurably sick child may request to end their suffering if “conscious” and equipped with “a capacity of discernment.&rdquo


“The right to life and death cannot be restricted to adults,” said liberal MP Daniel Bacquelaine


Addressing controversy over the decision not to set an age restriction for “discernment,” he said a child’s “legal age isn’t the same as mental age.&rdquo


Socialist senator Philippe Mahoux, author of Belgium’s historic 2002 “right to die” legislation and himself a doctor, had called for the law to be widened to minors so as to offer a legal framework for medics for helping children in pain die as a question of mercy, but outside the law


Euthanasia is “the ultimate gesture of humanity” and “not a scandal,” he said. “The scandal is illness and the death of children from disease.&rdquo


The law offers the possibility of euthanasia to children “in a hopeless medical situation of constant and unbearable suffering that cannot be eased and which will cause death in the short-term.&rdquo


Counselling by doctors and a psychiatrist or psychologist is required, as is parental approval


Before its adoption by a huge majority in the Senate in December, the upper house consulted dozens of medical specialists, lawyers and interest groups


But during public debate, religious leaders of all faiths argued that extending euthanasia to the young risked “trivialising” death


In recent days, the Catholic Church staged “a day of fasting and prayer” in protest and this week some 160 pediatricians petitioned lawmakers to postpone the vote on the grounds it was both ill-prepared and unnecessary


“Pain can be eased nowadays, there’s been huge progress in palliative care,” said cancer specialist and signatory Nadine Francotte


In a stormy exchange in parliament on the eve of the vote, Christian Democrat member Sonja Becq argued that modern palliative medication could relieve pain in very sick youngsters, therefore allowing illness to run a natural course to death


“Euthanasia is not the only way to die in dignity,” she said. “Euthanasia is not ‘a happy end’.&rdquo


But Brussels palliative specialist Dominique Lossignol said it was mistaken to believe palliative care could remedy suffering


“We do not have control over all types of pain, either physical or moral,” he told AFP. “We doctors have been asking for an extension of the law for years.&rdquo


Thursday’s vote saw Socialists, Liberals and Greens members largely line up in favor, with centrist Christian-leaning parties opposed


But party whips said it was up to individuals to decide how to vote on this life and death issue


Critics said the legislation failed to address problems and potential loopholes such as possible discord between the two parents over a child’s request to be euthanized


And they asked how could adults be sure that a child had the “discernment” necessary to decide to give up life or even really understands the notion


“Experience shows us that in cases of serious illness and imminent death, minors develop very quickly a great maturity, to the point where they are often better able to reflect and express themselves on life than healthy people,” a group of pediatricians in favor of the legislation said in December


Polls showed a majority of Belgians backing the proposal but there was a surge of concern last year when a 44-year-old in distress after a failed sex change was euthanized on psychological grounds in a highly publicized case


Belgium registered 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012, up 25 percent. They represented two percent of all deaths


Neighbouring Netherlands has seen only five euthanasia requests from youngsters in the last decade.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 1 2015 - Qatar Airways refutes US carriers' subsidy claimsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways (QA), in a 'white paper' submitted to the US, has refuted the subsidy allegations against it by the 'Big 3' US carriers.The submission addressed and answered all issues raised ...

 Aug 1 2015 - S&P confirms Doha Insurance rating at 'A'MENAFN
(MENAFN) Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'A' insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Qatar-based Doha Insurance Co. QSC (DIC). The outlook remains ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Foreign firms eye USD5b Saudi gas projectMENAFN
(MENAFN) Foreign engineering firms have submitted bids to build a gas plant in eastern Saudi Arabia for Saudi Aramco at an estimated cost of USD5 to USD6 billion, industry sources said.Saudi Aramco's ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Qatar- S&P affirms DIC ratings at 'A'The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Standard & Poor's Ratings Services yesterday affirmed its 'A' insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Qatar-based Doha Insurance Co. QSC (DIC). The ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Yemen shelling kills 4 on Saudi borderThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Rocket fire from war-wracked Yemen on Friday killed threeSaudi soldiers and a member of a paramilitary force, in the deadliest border incident for several weeks, the interior ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US rebel baseThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate launched a fierce assault on the headquarters of a US-trained rebel group Friday, while claiming responsibility for capturing members of the ...

 Aug 1 2015 - 4 killed as Saudi private jet crashesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Pilot and three passengers are killed after Saudi private jet crashes into a car dealership near Hampshire airport after overshooting the runway as it tried to land.The small ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Palestinian baby dies in home attackThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Suspected Jewish settlers torched a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank yesterday, killing an 18-month-old boy and seriously injuring his parents and elder brother, an ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Houthis lose ground in Yemen's southThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Southern Yemeni fighters backed by a Saudi-led air coalition seized more territory from Houthi militiamen near Aden yesterday, while three Saudi soldiers were killed when the ...

 Aug 1 2015 - Kurdish attack kills two Turkish copsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Two more Turkish police were killed yesterday in an attack blamed on Kurdish militants as tensions in the country boiled over amid the military's cross-border bombing ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help