Belgian law for child euthanasia is in violation of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child
MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – As Belgium prepares to become the
first country in the world to enact a law permitting euthanasia of
children on February 13,2014, Belgium will be in violation of the
United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. In the
convention, children rights include: 1. A right to life. 2. The
survival and development of the child. 3. Special protection 4.
Adequate medical services 5. Special treatment and care for handicapped
children. 6. Protection against all forms of neglect and cruelty.
Euthanasia of children goes against all these rights. The right of a
child for adequate health care includes palliative care. On February
12, 2014 the International World Congress on Pediatric Palliative Care
representing 250 palliative care specialists from over 35 countries
declared: that all children have the right to the best quality of life.
When they have life-limiting conditions they have the right to high
quality palliative care. “Euthanasia is not part of children’s
palliative care and is not an alternative to palliative care.” They
urge the Belgian government to reconsider their recent decision to
allow euthanasia of children. “….the answer to a child’s suffering is
more and better palliative care services and not the ending of a
In a video describing the dangers and abuses of childhood euthanasia, 16
year old Nadine from Quebec, Canada and survivor of an aggressive form
of leukemia and bone marrow transplant, describes how she might have
refused lifesaving chemotherapy when she was only 14 years old if
pediatric euthanasia was permitted. She believes many young people
like herself would opt for euthanasia if it is available. Her mother
Claude testifies to the importance of family and love in supporting
young people through the most vulnerable time of their lives. Nadine is
grateful to be alive.
In another video, Jessica Saba, 4, of Lachine, Quebec, Canada who was
born with a life threatening cardiac malformation and survived several
cardiac interventions, speaks on behalf of millions of children
worldwide with severe malformations. She asks the King of Belgium to
refuse to sign the legislation for child euthanasia: “For the sake of
the children, please do not sign the Euthanasia Bill,” Jessica pleads
in the video released on February 2.
Jessica’s mother Marisa warns that a pediatric euthanasia law could
encourage parents of sick or handicapped children “to give up too
early.” What parents and children need is to be surrounded with love
and support for life and not euthanasia.
If pediatric euthanasia is legalized in Belgium, there is a danger the
precedent could lead to the extension of pediatric euthanasia
worldwide. Euthanasia started in Belgium for those suffering physically
and now has been expanded to those who are suffering mentally. It began
with adults and is now being extended to children.
Currently in Quebec, the government is attempting to pass its own
euthanasia law, similar to the law passed in Belgium about 10 years
ago. The Quebec Human Rights Commission is recommending extension of
euthanasia to children.
The World Medical Association which represents 9 million physicians
worldwide condemns euthanasia and advises physicians not to practice it
where it is permitted.
SOURCE Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice