Child dies from euthanasia in Belgium

euthanize

(KRON/CNN)—A child that was suffering from an unknown incurable disease was euthanized in Belgium.

The minor is the first to be euthanized in the country since age restrictions on the practice were removed in 2014.

It happened in all intimacy, this week or last week.

A child that was suffering from an incurable disease had asked euthanasia and it was allowed.

The doctor who executed the euthanasia, has handed over a file to the Euthanasia Commission.

It is not known who the child is, nor its age, because most of the data in that file is anonymous.

But in Belgium there isn’t an age restriction to euthanasia.

“You cannot compare an adolescent that’s isn’t being confronted with illness, to a young person that is staring death into its eyes,” said Sen. Jean-Jacques De Gucht. “So you have people at 14 to 15 years, being very conscious of the position they’re in. And I think it’s very important that we, as a society, have given the opportunity to those people to decide for themselves in what manner they cope with that situation.”

In the Netherlands, it is allowed since 2002.

Minors above the age of 12 can ask for euthanasia.

Since 2002, 5 children have been euthanized. Also in Belgium, euthanasia is very rare.

“Sometimes we’re not aware that those doctors are facing a difficult job,” De Gucht said. “They have to be given the best guarantees and best conditions to do the job within a legislative frame. That’s why the euthanasia law is so important. That doctors, when confronted with the question, and they were confronted with that question even before that law existed, can be guaranteed that they would be prosecuted afterwards.”

Now, it’s up to the Monitoring Commission to examine if the doctor that carried out the euthanasia acted, according to the law.

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