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Belgium Eyes Child Euthanasia

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Author Topic: Belgium Eyes Child Euthanasia  (Read 375 times)
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« on: October 21, 2013, 03:58:11 am »

Belgium Eyes Child Euthanasia

Since euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002, Belgians have been euthanized for blindness, depression, anorexia nervosa, and a botched sex change operation.

Now, Belgians want to allow euthanasia for children.

Under legislation currently being debated in the Belgian Parliament, terminally ill or suffering children under 18 could be euthanized if they request it, their parents consent to it, and an expert deems the child capable of understanding their decision.

The bill is widely supported and is expected to become law.

'Kids Never Choose Death'

Supporters of Belgium's proposed euthanasia law say it is necessary and compassionate, but critics say it is only the next phase in what they call "a culture of death."

Euthanasia is now considered medical therapy in Belgium.

Not only do two thirds of Belgians favor the new euthanasia bill, but in a controversial poll, three quarters said it would be okay for parents to euthanize their sick children without the child's consent.

"The child does not have the maturity to get married or to buy alcohol or to buy cigarettes if he is 14. Now we are saying that because he is suffering, he might have the possibility to ask for euthanasia," Carine Boucher, with the European Center for Bio-ethics in Brussels, said.

Michel De Keukelaere, a law student and the founder of the March for Life in Brussels said, "Children never choose to die. I don't believe a child under 18 who is sick and who is ill wants to die."

"Who will give the suggestion to the child that one of the solutions is euthanasia?" Boucher asked. "A child doesn't know what euthanasia is. A child doesn't know what death is."

Socialist Revenge?

If children almost never want to die, why is such a law even necessary?

De Keukelaere views it as "...really a symbolic law. It's sort of the revenge of these socialist and liberal parties who want to show that Christianity in Belgium is finished."

What the law will almost assuredly do is make the practice of killing suffering children more common. Some Belgian doctors are already killing newborns with spina bifida at the parents' request.

"The answer is caring. The answer is not killing," Boucher said.

She said what doctors should be doing is alleviating the suffering of the terminally ill with world-class palliative care.

But the media and the left in Belgium are sending the message that doctors who resist euthanasia are uncaring.

"If you refuse euthanasia, you are a 'bad doctor.' It's not tolerance, it's really discrimination," Boucher said. "It's the world upside down."

"Under all this terminology like, 'It's safe, it's completely controlled by doctors.' We give doctors the right to kill. Doctors should cure, they should not kill," De Keukelaere said.

A vote on the measure is expected within weeks.

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2013/October/Culture-of-Death-Belgium-Eyes-Child-Euthanasia/
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 06:28:42 am »

Belgium close to decision on euthanizing disabled children

Belgium is one step away from legalizing euthanasia of disabled children.

The Belgium Senate voted 50-17 in favor of a bill for doctors to kill disabled children and sent it to the lower chamber where there is strong support for the concept. Alex Schadenberg heads Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International and he says the country has been heading in this direction since first legalizing euthanasia.
 
“As sad and terrible as this is, the Belgium people have been on this road for quite a while since legalizing euthanasia in 2002,” he tells OneNewsNow. “The real message is once you allow doctors to have the right to kill their patients, that right is not limited. In fact, it continues to grow – there are always more reasons to ask for or to seek death by physician.
 
The law is not being enacted because of public support at all. Schadenberg says there is a much more sinister reason behind it.
 
“It's not about suffering,” he says. “It's about protecting doctors who are doing this already. We have to understand that doctors have chosen to do this already even though it was illegal, and now the doctors are asking for the law to change so that they can avoid prosecution for doing illegal acts.”
 
Schadenberg has told OneNewsNow before that legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia is taking a slippery slope, but he now suggests now that in Belgium they have gone off a cliff. As a sidenote, the Canadian province of Ontario is trying to legalize euthanasia is using the Belgium law as a model.

 - See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/pro-life/2013/12/17/belgium-close-to-decision-on-euthanizing-disabled-children#sthash.iklb9Ysy.dpuf
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 05:16:53 am »

Fox guards henhouse: Doctor killing patients oversees euthanasia law

In countries where euthanasia is legal there now is a lack of appreciation for life.

Belgium's euthanasia commission, which rules over the death business, went into effect in 2002 although euthanasia had already been taking place, and now the attitude in Belgium is degenerating further.

Rita Marker of the Patients Rights Council tells OneNewsNow that one example is Dr. Wim Distelmans, best known for giving lethal injections to twins who were going blind, and to the patient of a sex-change operation.

Marker, Rita (Patents Rights Council)His cohort is Dr. Marc Cosyns, whose views are even more radical and who has openly stated that he deliberately violates Belgium's euthanasia laws because he believes killing a person is part of medical practice.

Did anything happen to either doctor?

"No," Marker reports, "because Distelmans, who is the best known euthanasia provider in Belgium, happens to be the chairman of the committee in Belgium that is to determine whether or not the law was followed."

So he determines whether he has followed the laws, and for his friend as well.

Marker says that once killing patients is accepted, any other safeguards fall, including obedience to the law.

- See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/pro-life/2014/01/22/fox-guards-henhouse-doctor-killing-patients-oversees-euthanasia-law#.Ut-oFbROm70
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 04:34:13 pm »

Lawmakers in Belgium Expected to Legalize Euthanasia for Children of All Ages

Lawmakers in Belgium are expected to approve legislation this week that will allow doctors to euthanize children.

Last month, the Belgian Senate voted 50-17 in favor of a bill that would allow terminally ill children to request euthanization. Belgium’s lower legislative house will vote on the legislation Thursday. Analysts say the lower house will most likely pass the measure.

According to reports, the bill will allow children to choose to intentionally end their lives via lethal injection. Euthanasia will be available to children of all ages—as long as the children understand what euthanasia is and have approval from parents and doctors.

Currently, the Netherlands is the only country in the world where child euthanization is legal. In the Netherlands, children must be over the age of 12 to intentionally and legally end their lives. However, the Belgian euthanization bill has no age restrictions.

Belgium first sanctioned adult euthanasia in 2002. Since then, the number of euthanasia cases has been increasing every year—from less than 300 in 2003 to approximately 1,500 in recent years.

Els Van Hoof is a Belgian senator who voted against the child euthanasia bill last month. According to the BBC, she is concerned that approval of euthanasia is a “slippery slope.”

“In the beginning, they presented a law that included mentally ill children,” she noted. “During the debate, supporters of euthanasia talked about children with anorexia, children who are tired of life—so how far does it go?”

However, supporters of euthanasia say children with incurable maladies should be allowed to die.

“Rarely—but it happens—there are children we try to treat but there is nothing we can do to make them better,” Dr. Gerlant van Berlaer, a pediatrician in Belgium, told the BBC. “Those children must have the right to decide about their own end of life.”

“We are not playing God—these are lives that will end anyway,” he argued. “Their natural end might be miserable or very painful or horrifying, and they might have seen a lot of friends in institutions or hospitals die of the same disease. And if they say, ‘I don’t want to die this way, I want to do it my way,’ and that is the only thing we can do for them as doctors, I think we should be able to do it.”

Even though the child euthanasia bill is expected to pass the Belgian legislature this week, many in the country oppose the legislation. Last month, 38 Belgian pediatricians denounced the bill in an online statement.

“Even the most complex medical cases can be solved in the current legal framework, with the means and expertise at our disposal,” the translated statement says. “For whom is this legislation therefore designed?”

“Children in Belgium are not suffering,” it continues. “The palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospitals and at home.”

Meanwhile, an online petition that condemns the euthanasia bill has received over 57,000 signatures.

“Belgian officials are moving quickly and not allowing for public input, such as a democratic vote,” it states. “We cannot remain silent and must call on the Belgian Parliament to not move forward on this legislation. We cannot condone a culture of death.”

“We call on the politicians to abandon these proposed laws and work on new laws that are in favor of life, long term care and vulnerable people in our society,” the petition concludes.

http://christiannews.net/2014/02/10/lawmakers-in-belgium-expected-to-legalize-euthanasia-for-children-of-all-ages/
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 10:39:50 pm »

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2014/February/Belgium-Child-Euthanasia-Opens-Door-None-Can-Shut/
2/14/14
Belgium Child Euthanasia 'Opens Door None Can Shut'

The decision by Belgium's parliament to legalize euthanasia for children of any age has opponents warning the European nation has crossed a dangerous threshold.

Pro-life protestors were out in force before the vote, with Marie Schwarz, a mother of four, saying that euthanasia is a "failure."

"It is death," she said. "It is not a pain killer."

Supporters called Belgium's euthanasia law necessary and compassionate. But critics said it's a dangerous, slippery slope.

Under the new law, if both parents agree their child should be killed, three doctors and a psychologist would then have to certify that the child was aware of the consequences of his or her decision. The child would have to be under medical care.

"We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life, and it's not that they have months or years to go. They will, their life will end anyway," Dr. Gerlant Van Berlaer, chief of clinic for pediatric critical care at the University Hospital of Brussels, explained.

"And the question they ask us is, 'Well, don't make me go in a terrible, horrifying way. Let me go now while I'm still a human being and while I'm still, while I still have my dignity,'" he said.

But critics asked how anyone could gauge a child's capacity for discernment in such a situation.

And news reports showed that when it comes to euthanasia, some Belgian doctors ignore the law and do what they think is best
.

"I think the fact that Belgium is passing this law should sound as a warning bell to other countries which might be tempted to legalize euthanasia," professor Michel Ghins, co-founder of Euthanasie Stop, warned. "Because once the step has been made it's very difficult to prevent all kinds of extensions to take place."

The Catholic Church staged "a day of fasting and prayer" in protest.

"We are opening a door that nobody will be able to close," Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels Andre Leonard warned.
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 06:09:34 am »

Europe’s sinister expansion of euthanasia

 If you were a psychiatrist and a chronically depressed patient told you he wanted to die, what would you do?

In Belgium, you might prescribe this vulnerable, desperate person a fatal dose of sodium thiopental.

Between October 2007 and December 2011, 100 people went to a clinic in Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region with depression, or schizophrenia, or, in several cases, Asperger’s syndrome, seeking euthanasia. The doctors, satisfied that 48 of the patients were in earnest, and that their conditions were “untreatable” and “unbearable,” offered them lethal injection; 35 went through with it.

These facts come not from a police report but an article by one of the clinic’s psychiatrists, Lieve Thienpont, in the British journal BMJ Open. All was perfectly legal under Belgium’s 2002 euthanasia statute, which applies not only to terminal physical illness, still the vast majority of cases, but also to an apparently growing minority of psychological ones. Official figures show nine cases of euthanasia due to “neuropsychiatric” disorders in the two-year period 2004-2005; in 2012-2013, the number had risen to 120, or 4 percent of the total.

Next door in the Netherlands, which decriminalized euthanasia in 2002, right-to-die activists opened a clinic in March 2012 to “help” people turned down for lethal injections by their regular physicians. In the next 12 months, the clinic approved euthanasia for six psychiatric patients, plus 11 people whose only recorded complaint was being “tired of living,” according to a report in the Aug. 10 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

If you find this sinister, I agree. Bioethicists Barron H. Lerner and Arthur L. Caplan, who reviewed the data from the Low Countries in JAMA Internal Medicine, observe that the reports “seem to validate concerns about where these practices might lead.”

That’s putting it mildly. Thienpont acknowledges that “the concept of ‘unbearable suffering’ has not yet been defined adequately” and that “there are no guidelines for the management of euthanasia requests on grounds of mental suffering in Belgium.”

Yet she and her colleagues continue to put the mentally ill to death, insisting that they are respecting their wishes — though, as she writes, “further studies are recommended.”

Thienpont’s co-author Wim Distelmans, a leading advocate of euthanasia, has ended the life of a 44-year-old who was anguished, but not terminally ill, due to a botched sex-change operation. Distelmans also put to death identical 45-year-old deaf twins who said they lost the will to live upon learning they would eventually go blind.

Frank van den Bleeken, imprisoned for 30 years for **** and murder, sought euthanasia from Distelmans, citing his incurable violent impulses and the misery of life behind bars. Belgian officials and Distelmans initially agreed; a lethal injection the murderer might have gotten as punishment in the United States would be supplied as therapy in anti-death penalty Europe.

In January, however, Distelmans backed out just before the scheduled procedure — there was still hope for van den Bleeken to get treatment at a facility in the Netherlands, he said.

Distelmans faced little accountability either way. The body empowered to scrutinize his actions, after the fact, was Belgium’s Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission — of which he is co-chairman. It has reviewed thousands of cases since 2002 but referred exactly none to law enforcement.

The “very worrisome” trends in Europe “should give us pause” about where the “assisted dying” movement might lead in this country, Lerner and Caplan write.

To be sure, by authorizing doctors to administer lethal drugs, in terminal and non-terminal cases, the Benelux countries go far beyond laws in Oregon and four other states, which permit physicians to prescribe, not administer, a fatal dose — and only in cases of terminal physical illness.

Those limitations, and their effectiveness since Oregon adopted its law in 1997, help explain why 24 states, and the District, are considering assisted-suicide legislation, which 68 percent of the public supports in some form, according to a Gallup poll.

What’s noteworthy about euthanasia in Europe, though, has been its tendency to expand, once the taboo against physician-aided death was breached in favor of more malleable concepts such as “patient autonomy.”

“What is presented at first as a right is going to become a kind of obligation,” Belgian law professor Étienne Montero has warned.

In 2013, euthanasia accounted for one of every 28 deaths in the Netherlands, three times the rate of 2002. In the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, one of every 22 deaths was due to euthanasia in 2013, a 142 percent increase since 2007. Belgium has legalized euthanasia for children under 12, though only for terminal physical illness; no child has yet been put to death.

The United States, like Europe, is aging, with all that implies for the spread of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders. If pressure rises for more doctor-assisted death, Lerner and Caplan insist, “physicians must remain primarily healers.”

“Part of the problem with the slippery slope,” they write, “is that you never know when you are on it.”

Read more about this issue here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/euthanasias-slippery-slope/2015/08/19/4c13b12a-45cf-11e5-8ab4-c73967a143d3_story.html?postshare=6061440037372681
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 04:34:31 pm »

First mercy killing of minor in Belgium: report

A terminally ill 17-year-old has become the first minor to be euthanised in Belgium since age restrictions on such mercy killings in the country were lifted in 2014, it was learned Saturday.

"The euthanasia has taken place," Jacqueline Herremans, a member of Belgium's federal euthanasia commission, told AFP.

She added that the assisted death had taken place according to Belgian law.

Wim Distelmans, head of the euthanasia commission, gave no details of the minor involved beyond saying it was an exceptional case of a child with a terminal illness, the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper reported.

VRT public television said the incident involved an adolescent who was about to turn 18.

"Fortunately, there are very few children who are considered (for euthanasia) but that does not mean we should refuse them the right to a dignified death," Distelmans told the newspaper.

Since 2014, when its euthanasia legislation was amended, Belgium has been the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their suffering -- as long as they are conscious and capable of making rational decisions.

The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those aged over 12.

- 'Very controlled' -

The Belgian amendment, which was passed after heated debate -- notably over the meaning of a "capacity of discernment" -- 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".

Any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors and an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent.

When amending the law, Belgian legislators had decided not to include psychological suffering in the list of factors determining whether euthanasia may be allowed for minors, though it is admissable for adults.

The 2014 vote was passed by 86 lawmakers in favour and a 44 against, in the traditionally Catholic nation.

A poll which was taken a few months before the final parliamentary vote indicated that three-quarters of Belgians were in favour of extending euthanasia to minors.

Since the law was changed, there have been other euthanasia requests from minors but none had previously been granted, said Herremans.

The whole process is "very controlled" and "often very long" and particularly difficult when it concerns a minor, she added.

Altogether over 2,000 mercy killings were declared in Belgium last year, a record number since the practice was made legal in 2002.

Last weekend Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort said in Rio that she is considering euthanasia to escape a life of unbearable physical pain -- only not quite yet.

Vervoort, who won silver in the 400m wheelchair race at the Paralympic Games, played down earlier reports that she planned to be euthanized after her return from Brazil.

"I have my (euthanasia) papers in my hand, but I'm still enjoying every little moment. When the moment comes when I have more bad days than good days, then I have my euthanasia papers, but the time is not there yet," she told a news conference in Rio, Brazil, where the Paralympic Games are taking place.

After the Netherlands and Belgium, Luxembourg approved euthanasia but for adults only in 2009.

In Switzerland, doctors can assist a patient seeking to die but euthanasia itself is illegal

https://www.yahoo.com/news/belgium-euthanises-terminally-ill-child-landmark-case-092154337.html
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