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Child euthanasia in Belgium

Well, it is only a trip on Eurostar away – but the difference between the cultural ethical norms of Belgium and the UK were highlighted even better than by Brexit last week when the first euthanasia of a child was reported following extension of the euthanasia legislation to minors in 2014.  Belgium is the only country that allows minors of any age to choose euthanasia. They must have decision-making capacity and be in the final stages of a terminal illness. The parents must also give their consent. The young person in this case was 17 years old. 

Comments on the case highlight the ethical arguments for and against euthanasia with the additional  ethical challenge of when a young person should be permitted to make  decisions on matters of life and death.


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