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Belgian senate approves euthanasia for children

By on Friday, 13 December 2013

The Queen Fabiola Children's Hospital in Brussels (PA)

The Queen Fabiola Children's Hospital in Brussels (PA)

The Belgian senate has voted to extend its euthanasia laws to children.

The Bill will allow children to request euthanasia if they are terminally ill, in great pain and there is no available treatment.

The new Bill stipulates that the patient must be conscious of their decision and understand the meaning of euthanasia and also that the request must have been approved by the child’s parents and medical team. It also states that the child’s illness must be terminal and that they must be in great pain with no treatment available.

The senate voted 50-17 in favour of the legislation.

The current law in Belgium only allows euthanasia for individuals over the age of 18.

In 2012, Belgium recorded 1,432 cases of euthanasia indicating a 25 per cent increase from 2011.