Belgium Grants Children Right to Die


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iStock/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS) — Belgian lawmakers have passed a bill granting children the right to die — a right shared by the country’s adults, but polarizing here in the U.S.

The controversial bill allows terminally ill minors to receive life-ending medication if they’re near-death and suffering. The children must understand the decision in the eyes of a psychologist and their parents must approve. King Philippe is expected to sign the bill into law.

Belgium is one of three countries to have legalized euthanasia alongside the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In the Netherlands, children between 12 and 15 have the right to die with their parents’ permission while 16- and 17-year-olds must notify their parents beforehand.

Oregon and Washington are the only states to have assisted dying laws here in the U.S. A 2012 ballot measure to bring a similar law to Massachusetts was narrowly nixed by 51 percent of voters — a testament to just how divided Americans are on the issue.

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