Belgium extends euthanasia to children

Date: 13th February 2014
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

From Thursday 13 February Belgium became the first country in the world to allow euthanasia to children under the age of 18.

This came after the federal parliament approved the Bill with 86 votes in favour, 44 against and 12 abstentions. Back in 2002, Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults, and now this procedure can be requested when children have a terminal and incurable illness, are near death, and suffering "constant and unbearable physical" pain.

Parents, doctors and psychiatrists would have to agree before a decision is made. The law will come into effect when signed by Belgium's monarch, King Philippe.