By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Belgian Chamber of Deputies approved the extension of euthanasia to children by a vote of 86 to 44 today. This bill was approved without first addressing the abuse of the Belgian euthanasia law.
Let's be clear, abuse of the euthanasia law results in the death of a person.
The concept of approving lethal injections for children with disabilities or terminal conditions, even after studies have proven that many assisted deaths in Belgium are done without explicit request and after it is proven that a massive number of assisted deaths in Belgium are not being reported suggests that the Belgian government is making decisions based on ideology rather than good governance.
In fact, last month Dr Mark Cosyns, a leading euthanasia doctor, admitted to not reporting the many euthanasia deaths that he has done.
Recently 160 Belgian paediatricians denounced the child euthanasia bill. The paediatricians stated that extending euthanasia to children was not necessary because:
(1) Even the most complex medical cases can be solved in the current legal framework, with the means and expertise at our disposal. For whom is this legislation therefore designed?
(2) Children in Belgium are not suffering. The palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospital and at home.
(3) A sensitive child may perceive the option of euthanasia as a solution or a duty, especially if the child feels that the parents can no longer bear to see him suffer
(4) In practice, there is no objective method for determining whether a child is gifted with the ability of discernment and judgment. So this is actually largely subjective and subject to other influences.
They paediatricians concluded:
We believe that there is no urgency to pass this bill in the current legislature.
The Belgian government is drinking the Kool-aid. They are unwilling to control the euthanasia law and yet they have decided to extend that law to children.
In November 2013, I debated, a long time euthanasia promoter in Belgium. I spoke about the instances of abuse of the Belgian euthanasia law and I quoted several Belgian studies proving that in Belgium:
(3) and nurses are lethally injecting patients, even though the law does not permit it.
The euthanasia promoter reacted to the facts by admitting that there are problems with the Belgian euthanasia law. This is cold comfort to the dead.