From the article:
Does a terminally ill child in intolerable pain have a right to die? Belgian lawmakers said yes.
The lower house of the Belgian Parliament adopted a bill that extends the right to euthanasia for minors, the Parliament said Thursday on its official Twitter account. The law passed 86 to 44 with 12 abstentions.
That followed a vote by the country's Senate in December supporting the measure. The next step would see the bill go to the king, Philippe, to be signed into law.
The euthanasia bill is widely supported -- but has stoked fierce opposition from critics.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those in "constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated." Minors were included in the original proposals but were left out of the final legislation for political reasons.
The new bill would extend the "right to die" to those under the age of 18 only under certain strict conditions, including that the child is judged able to understand what euthanasia means. Consent of parents or guardians must also be given.
Pediatricians: No urgent need for this law
However, 175 pediatricians signed an open letter Thursday urging more time for reflection before any decision is made.
Palliative nurse Sonja Develter, who specializes in end-of-life care for children, told CNN she is concerned that giving children a choice would mean they made decisions based on what they thought their families wanted to hear, and that it would be a terrible strain for children who may already feel they are a burden to their caregivers.
'If you leave, you leave forever'
Supporters insist the measure is more a matter of principle than anything else -- and that only a small number of children will ever, in practice, ask to end their lives through euthanasia.
Under its strict guidelines, no doctor would be forced to carry out euthanasia against his or her will and the child would always have the option of palliative treatment.
A child psychologist or psychiatrist would have to examine the child to make sure he or she is capable of making the decision.
In the Netherlands, where children have been able to request euthanasia with parental consent since 2002, only five children have ever done so.
Click on the link to read the whole, more extensive, article. What about this law, should the states consider passing laws like this one?