Belgium Grants Children Right to Die

Feb 13, 2014 1:01pm

Belgian lawmakers today passed a bill granting children the right to die — a right shared by the country’s adults, but polarizing here in the U.S.

The controversial bill allows terminally ill minors to receive life-ending medication if they’re near-death and suffering. The children must understand the decision in the eyes of a psychologist and their parents must approve. King Philippe is expected to sign the bill into law.

Belgian Lawmakers Clash Over Child Euthanasia Bill

Belgium is one of three countries to have legalized euthanasia alongside the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In the Netherlands, children between 12 and 15 have the right to die with their parents’ permission while 16- and 17-year-olds must notify their parents beforehand.

Debate Over Doctor’s Role in Assisted Dying

Oregon and Washington are the only states to have assisted dying laws here in the U.S. A 2012 ballot measure to bring a similar law to Massachusetts was narrowly nixed by 51 percent of voters — a testament to just how divided Americans are on the issue.

Advocates for Assisted Dying Deflated by Massachusetts Defeat

What do you think about assisted dying? Tell us in a video comment and then invite your friends to weigh in.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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