Personal Health

In Belgium, three children have received assistance in dying

A child was nine years old. A second died with eleven. And the third was 17. They were all terminally ill. And they all consciously decided for Dying. Five years ago, Belgium has extended the active euthanasia to minors with no age limit. At least three Times it has been applied since then.

The Belgian scheme is unique in the EU. In the Netherlands, active euthanasia from the age of twelve allowed, in Luxembourg only in Full age. In Belgium are allowed to adults since 2002, their death, asking, in Germany, active euthanasia, by contrast, is completely prohibited. Passive euthanasia – the switching Off of equipment and indirect euthanasia, when the strong drugs to alleviate pain and as a side effect, the Die speed, are permitted.

“The most Important thing is that the child makes the decision”

The expansion of the Belgian law five years ago, has sparked heated discussions. Can conceive of a seven-year-old, the Dimension of this decision? Can rate a nine-year-old something as Abstract as pain? Even during the vote in the Belgian Parliament on 13. February 2014, called for a viewer “killer” in the room. As of 2016, the first case was known, involved the Vatican. The law will take the children of the right to life, it said.

The national euthanasia Commission in Belgium, sees it differently. Although the rule affects only a few children, whether they make sense, according to a report from the past year. So, have minors free choice and a say at the end of your life. “The most Important thing is that the child makes the decision,” says the lawyer, Jacqueline Herremans, a member of the Commission.

For this decision, every child, while not Mature enough. But: “We are talking about children who spend weeks or months in the hospital. The are more Mature than others.” Mr Mans is, in principle, for active euthanasia. “This should be the freedom of each Individual,” she says. “But no one should have this freedom, without being sufficiently informed.”

“The importance of the each other-Caring is lost”

Tom Mortier in the Belgian scheme on the other hand, as a freedom. His depressed mother had asked in 2012 without his Knowledge, aid in dying – only the day after her death, he had been informed. “The Problem in our society, it is obvious that we have forgotten the importance of each other-Caring,” says Mortier. His mother had suffered for many years from depression, but had otherwise been healthy. Currently, the European court of human rights is examining the case.

In the case of the previously known Minor cases, a Patient suffering from the metabolic disorder cystic fibrosis, another had suffered from malignant tumors in the head, and the third of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a certain type of muscular dystrophy.

The Belgian euthanasia law allows Doctors to killing at the Request of adult, terminally ill patients, if doctors some an unbearable Suffering. Also in children with an incurable disease is a condition. The young Patient must suffer from severe pain that can relieve no medication. A psychologist must testify that he is capable of judgement and be able to decide freely for Dying. The parents must agree.

“A pioneer of the taboo break”

Since then, the help in Belgium in 2002, was introduced death, the case numbers continuously. In 2004, there were 349 cases, in 2017, is already 2309. Eugen Brysch, the Executive Board of the German Foundation for patient protection, criticised that the Belgian society have become accustomed to euthanasia, including the discussion about it. Alone from 2012 to 2013 – so as on the extension to minors was discussed – had increased the number of cases by almost 400 in 1807. “The power is already affected.”

While the active die is used the help of French-speaking patients in Belgium, a comparatively little – 2017, there were 517 cases, which is in the Flemish-speaking patients in a different way (1792). The Netherlands – in 2002, the world’s first country, the active die allowed aid for the neighboring Flemish “sad the pioneer of taboo collapse,” said Brysch.

A lawyer, Mr Mans, sees it differently. According to her, the Flemish Physicians have benefited from the experience of their colleagues from the Netherlands. In French-speaking universities will be involved, however, even today, much less with the topic. For fear of euthanasia there are many reasons.

Because of the euthanasia law would, in the meantime, apart, however, more and more Belgians with death – and also about issues such as palliative care talk. In a small country like Belgium, with eleven million inhabitants had around 2,300 euthanasia cases, after all, a lot of people in one way or another – such as a relative, nurse or doctor – to come in contact with.