The Liberal Party in Belgium has put forth a measure that would expand the country’s euthanasia law passed in 2002 to allow it to be applied to children and persons with dementia.
The Spanish online daily Hoy reported that current law in Belgium permits euthanasia “only for adults and in specific circumstances: terminal pathologies or illnesses that cause severe pain or suffering. Belgium was the second country in Europe behind Holland to approve the practice.”
Now liberal lawmakers are repeating an effort made in 2004 to allow for euthanasia for “persons with diminished brain activity due to dementia or to accidents, although such persons must express their desire in writing.”
The law would also force doctors who refuse to apply euthanasia to refer patients to others who will, and they must allow the patients to carry out the act themselves if they so wish.
Liberal Senator Jean-Jacques de Gucht is the sponsor of the measure and says his proposals may receive the support of other parties, even though the same strategy failed in 2004.