BRUSSELS, February 13, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Belgium has become the first country in the world to approve euthanasia for children of all ages after the country’s parliamentarians passed the controversial bill today in a vote of 86 to 44, with 12 MPs abstaining.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, called the move a “form of abandonment.”
“Belgium has abandoned the elderly, and now they are saying they will abandon their children,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Schadenberg said the new law is not about ending suffering for children with disabilities, but about expanding the “categories that are eligible for death.”
The bill was first introduced in December 2012.
The law extends to those under the age of 18 who request euthanasia with parental consent. It also applies to younger children requesting euthanasia after a doctor has certified that the child fully understands the implications of the decision.
“This is the horrific logic of euthanasia: Once killing is accepted as an answer to human difficulty and suffering, the power of sheer logic dictates that there is no bottom,” wrote Wesley J. Smith about the law.
The proposed law had been protested by a number of groups that said the existing 2002 euthanasia legislation has been an unmitigated disaster.
Schadenberg said he was not surprised to see the bill pass, since he said the entire euthanasia project in Belgium is being “pushed blindly” by a government that has ignored all the abuses currently taking place within existing euthanasia laws.
“Euthanasia has been really out of control in Belgium for quite some time. We know from studies that about 32 percent of euthanasia deaths go without requests. Over half of euthanasia deaths are not reported,” he said.
Schadenberg said the new law will only make it easier for doctors to indiscriminately and without repercussion end the lives of the most vulnerable deemed unfit to live.