Belgium, which for 11 years has been one of the world’s few countries with legalized euthanasia, raised the bar Thursday by approving a highly controversial bill that would extend doctor-assisted dying to children.
The measure, which passed the country’s Senate by a 50-17 vote has yet to be approved by the Lower House. It would make Belgium the first country to remove any age limit to legal euthanasia, although users would require parental approval and “possess the capacity of discernment.”
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Under current estimates, 10 to 15 terminally ill Belgian children a year would opt for euthanasia.
The pending law will inevitably add fuel to the Quebec euthanasia debate, where government-led efforts to legalized assisted dying have been closely influenced by the Belgian example.
“This law … is the result of much work illuminated by numerous hearings and, for many…
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