Actually, they already are. But the New York Times story leaves that out of the picture.
Before becoming law, the changes must be voted on by the Parliament’s lower house, which is expected to take up the matter before elections in May. The measure seems likely to pass, and would put Belgium in a separate category from almost any other nation when it comes to allowing the terminally ill to choose to die.
The idea of euthanasia for children has been taboo in most countries, not only for religious reasons but also because of the horrors of Nazi Germany, which killed thousands of mentally and physically handicapped children under a program known as Kinder Euthanasie.
Mr. Mahoux said in an interview before the vote that euthanasia for terminally ill children was already practiced on occasion in some Belgian hospitals and that the law would not lead to a surge in medically accelerated death among sick children but would save doctors from potential criminal prosecution.
The amended law extending the “right to die” to children mandates that euthanasia can be carried out only at the demand of a patient and that such a request be “voluntary, considered and repeated and not the result of external pressure.”
Unlike adults, children would not be allowed to choose death on the grounds of “psychological suffering” but only when there was no hope of recovery from an illness that involves extreme physical pain. Parents must give their approval in writing.
Religious groups, however, view Belgium’s efforts to extend its already contentious 2002 law to children as a dangerous erosion of moral barriers protecting the sanctity of life. “We mark out opposition to this extension and express our trepidation in the face of the risk of a growing trivialization of such a grave reality,” the leaders of Belgium’s Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities said in a statement.
During a debate in the Senate on Thursday that included some angry exchanges, members of the Christian Democrats denounced the changes as open to abuse and fraught with peril.
All of this is cover. Notice that very little of the content of those “angry exchanges” is revealed to the readers. There is another story beneath the story—a story of many children already being killed without their consent:
The euthanasia express is like a freight train racing down the tracks without brakes. “It is widely acknowledged that euthanasia is out of control in Belgium,” wrote Dr. Peter Saunders. There’s been “a 500% increase in cases in ten years; one third involuntary; half not reported; euthanasia for blindness, anorexia and botched sex change operations; organ transplant euthanasia; plans to extend euthanasia to children and people with dementia.” Writing before the Senate vote, Saunders observed, “[I]t is clear that in practice the boundaries are continually migrating and the nation’s moral conscience is shifting year on year. Call it incremental extension, mission creep or slippery slope – whatever – it is strongly in evidence in Belgium.”
Note that this isn’t the only country with an “underground” system for denying life or medical care.
We’re supposed to believe that these decisions are only being made on personal grounds, not on the basis of state budget concerns. In other words, we’re expected to live in an escapist fantasy while the state constructs a legal system that allows it to execute people who don’t contribute to it.