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are opening a door that nobody will be able to close, Andre Leonard, the archbishop of Mechelen Brussels and chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Belgium, told The Associated Press. is a risk of very serious consequences in the long term for society and the meaning we give to life, death and the freedom of human beings. Dujardin, 29, a notary employee and father, has been among those staging protests as the debate in the House of Representatives nears. He doesn believe safeguards proposed under the new law are watertight enough to protect youngsters who may be incapacitated by disease.
group at the Free University Brussels and University of Ghent.
King Philippe, Belgium constitutional head of state, must sign the legislation for it to go into effect. So far, the 53 year old monarch and father of four has not taken a public position, but spokesman Pierre De Bauw said that is not unusual. never give any Air Max 97 Red Black comment on any piece of legislation being discussed in Parliament, De Bauw said Grey Air Max 1 Essential
The House of Representatives, the other chamber of Parliament, is scheduled to debate on Wednesday whether to agree to the changes, and vote on them Thursday. Passage is widely expected.
Van Berlaer, 45, was not one of the signatories. Very sick children who are surrounded by other ill and dying people are not like other youngsters, and mature quickly_too quickly, he said. They may look on as friends or neighbours in their ward die because they can no longer breathe or swallow, and come to realize what lies ahead for them.
of abolishing age restrictions on who can ask to be put to death extending the right to children for the first time.
Backers like Dr. Gerland van Berlaer, a prominent Brussels pediatrician, believe it is the merciful thing to do. The law will be specific enough that it will only apply to the handful of teenage boys and girls who are in advanced stages of cancer or other terminal illnesses and suffering unbearable pain, he said.
thing is that it is an ultimate act of humanity and even love for the patients, minors in this case, that we at least listen to this question and think about why they would ask such a difficult thing, Van Berlaer said. it will never be easy, even if the law changes now, things won be easier. his estimate, only a handful of Belgian children, all in the teenage years, would be able each year to make use of the lifting of age restrictions. there is still a possible medical treatment, they will not be allowed to ask for euthanasia, the Brussels pediatrician said.
BRUSSELS Belgium, one of the very few countries where euthanasia is legal, is expected to take the unprecedented step this week Air Max 1 Sand
Though one opinion poll found 75 per cent of Belgians in favour, there has been a vocal opposition.
never saw that when I gave someone euthanasia he or she asked for, the doctor said.
Dr. Marc Van Hoey, a general practitioner who is president of the Right to Die Association in the region of Flanders, also is in favour of the legislation. Euthanasia, he said, sometimes becomes the kindest and most caring option.
Under current law, they must let nature take its course or wait until they turn 18 and can ask to be euthanized.
The legislation appears to have wide support in the largely liberal country. But it has also aroused intense opposition from foes including a list of pediatricians and everyday people who have staged noisy street protests, fearing that vulnerable children will be talked into making a final, irreversible choice.
are talking about children that are really at the end of their life. It not that they have months or years to go. Their life will end anyway, said Van Berlaer, chief of clinic in the pediatric critical care unit of University Hospital Brussels. question they ask us is: make me go in a terrible, horrifying way, let me go now while I am still a human being and while I still have my dignity. Belgian Senate voted 50 17 on Dec. 12 to amend the country 2002 law on euthanasia so that it would apply to minors, but only under certain additional conditions. Those include parental consent and a requirement that any minor desiring euthanasia demonstrate a for discernment to a psychiatrist and psychologist.
In Luxembourg, a patient must be 18. In the Netherlands, children between 12 and 15 may be euthanized with parents permission, while those who are 16 or 17 must notify their parents beforehand.
The discernment clause, he said, should bar the law from applying to young children.
Besides Belgium, the only other countries to have legalized euthanasia are the Netherlands and Luxembourg, said Kenneth Chambaere, a sociologist and member of the End of Life Care research Air Max 1 2015
The doctors also said there was no objective way of providing that children possess the to know what euthanasia means.
you take three psychiatrists, one of them will end up approving (euthanasia), Dujardin said. the name of promoting freedom for children, we letting someone else decide. week, an letter carrying the names of 160 Belgian pediatricians was issued to argue against the new law, claiming there is no urgent need for it and that modern medicine is capable of soothing the pain of even the sickest children.
arousing intense opposition from some
seen quite a lot of persons dying in how do you say in proper English agony? said Van Hoey. you see somebody who died in pain, you see his face completely with a kind of expression where you see the pain on the face.
In such cases, Van Berlaer said, a child may want to say goodbye to classmates and family, and ask if he or she can stop living.
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