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Belgium May Extend Euthanasia Law to Children in Vote Tomorrow

February 12, 2014

Belgium’s lower house of parliament plans to vote tomorrow on a bill that would allow euthanasia for children in certain cases.

The Chamber of Representatives today debates the bill, which would decriminalize ending the lives of hopelessly sick or injured minors who are “capable of discernment” to make such a request. The Senate, or upper house, passed the bill in December.

“Terminally ill minors facing unbearable and unrelievable physical suffering may in the future benefit from euthanasia if they request it,” according to a Senate statement. “This process must be supervised by a medical team and be based on parental consent.”

A group of Belgian pediatricians expressed concern at the “rushed” vote on the issue, the Belga news agency reported yesterday. A letter calling for lawmakers to postpone the vote was signed by 160 physicians and delivered to the lower house. The Chamber will debate the bill today, Belga said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Henry in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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