Child euthanasia law passes in Belgium Senate

Belgium's Senate has strongly supported legislation that would extend the country's euthanasia law to children under certain conditions.

Belgium's Senate has strongly supported legislation that would extend the country's euthanasia law to children under certain conditions.

Senators on Thursday voted 50-17 in favour of the proposed law. If adopted, it will decriminalize euthanasia for children, if they are in great pain, suffer from a terminal condition and are expected to die soon. The children would have to submit a written request to be euthanized, and be aware of what their request meant. No age limit would be set, but the children would have "to possess the capacity of discernment."

Their parents or legal representatives also would have to support the request in writing.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

The Catholic Church opposes the measure, but one co-sponsor said it is likely to be enacted.

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