Belgium’s euthanasia law was expanded to apply to those under the age of 18 in 2014, and the first child to be euthanized under that expansion died within the past week. Because it involves a minor child, very few details are available.
Let us be very clear: such an act is not a legitimate part of the practice of medicine on any level. Not for physicians, for nurses, for pharmacists, not for anyone. The practice of medicine is to seek to heal, to care, to comfort, and to suffer with. It is never ever to kill.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide (or so-called “aid in dying”) corrupt medicine, undermine the viability of suicide prevention efforts by sending a mixed societal message, and threaten the lives and equal societal status of the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
For more see our issue overview of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia and/or download our 3 Things You Should Know About Physician Assisted Suicide (PDF).
Image by anthony kelly via flickr (CC BY 2.0)